Coronavirus: MasterChef champion's husband misses son's birth

Dr Saliha Mahmood Ahmed and babyImage source, Dr Saliha Mahmood Ahmed
Image caption,
Dr Saliha Mahmood-Ahmed has thanked her colleagues for their love and compassion

An intensive care unit doctor has missed the birth of his son because he developed symptoms two days before his wife's scheduled caesarean section.

Dr Usman Ahmed works at The Whittington Hospital in London and developed a fever and a cough after a night shift.

Saliha Mahmood-Ahmed, who won the MasterChef TV show in 2017, underwent surgery on 24 March at Watford General Hospital where she works as a doctor.

She thanked her NHS colleagues for supporting her through her solo birth.

Dr Mahmood-Ahmed said she was "devastated" when her husband told her he was going into self-isolation.

"I was left facing the whole delivery alone, a totally emotionally wrenching experience."

Image source, Ozzy Ahmed
Image caption,
Dr Usman Ahmed developed coronavirus symptoms after a night shift in the intensive care unit

But her co-workers were "nothing short of extraordinary" and she was "so grateful" for their "outstanding support", the registrar added.

"There have been so many tears, of joy and sadness and no-one can change the fact that our new little man could not meet his daddy at birth," she said.

Dr Mahmood-Ahmed said it was only because of the "love and compassion" shown by her colleagues that she was able to cope during the birth of their second son, Andalhamdulillah on Tuesday.

"It is evident that the NHS is much more than an organisation, but more like an extended family, whose values reflect the very best of humanity."

Dr Usman Ahmed has since met his son but said it was "deeply painful" that grandparents, family and friends would not be able to see the baby for the foreseeable future.

Dr Mahmood-Ahmed returned to work specialising in gastroenterology after winning MasterChef in 2017.

She recently published an Indo-Persian cookbook.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Dr Ahmed impressed judges John Torode (left) and Gregg Wallace with her 'stunningly good' dishes during the 2017 series

Find BBC News: East of England on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you have a story suggestion email