Fifteen years ago Donna Ferguson from Northern Ireland, gave birth to her fourth child, a girl called Jessica. The birth went well but afterwards she was feeling very tired, more tired than she felt she should be, as well as faint. When the nurses came to see her in the evening they told her that they would take Jessica to the nursery for the night so that she could have a good night’s rest, they thought she was looking a little 'peaky' and would maybe need some iron tablets.
Donna says she then drifted into a deep sleep until around 2am, when she began hearing a voice.
She said: "The voice kept saying softly 'Wake up, wake up!'. I didn't want to and tried desperately to ignore it, telling myself, 'I can't wake up, I'm so tired. I need to sleep.
“But the voice – which remained at the same pitch and tone – was persistent, determined to shake me out of unconsciousness. It never got angry, remaining calm as it repeatedly told me to wake up.
“This time, though, it also told me to press the alarm. I didn't even know there was an alarm. Still I couldn't open my eyes, but managed to find enough strength to lift my arm. Feeling a wire hanging next to me, I pressed the button. Fortunately, it was the alarm, which alerted the nurses.
“Next thing I remember was the light being switched on as a nurse rushed into my room. I was lying in a pool of blood and soon there were three nurses and a doctor crowded around my bed. There was a commotion as they tried desperately to keep me awake. I remember telling one of the nurses that I'd been woken by someone."
She was then rushed to theatre. Donna had haemorrhaged and lost a lot of blood as a large part of the placenta had remained in her uterus after the birth. The next day when the doctor came to see her, he told her she was very lucky and that if she hadn't raised the alarm she almost certainly would have died.
She had to be given a blood transfusion after the operation and she feels now that it had to be her guardian angel that woke her, as due to her extreme tiredness she would never have been able to wake on her own.
Donna said: “ I didn't know how close I was to death until the doctor saw me the following morning.
“He said I'd been very lucky, admitting that he'd never seen anyone looking so grey and unwell who was still alive. I told the doctor that someone had woken me, although I couldn't tell if it was a woman's or a man's voice, and he said it must have been my guardian angel, because if I'd lost much more blood, I wouldn't have survived.
“Lying in my hospital bed, reflecting on the ordeal, it suddenly hit me that being so close to death, the voice must have been sent for a reason. I wasn't meant to die that night. As the doctor had suggested, it must have been my guardian angel.”
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Adapted from an original article in the Daily Mail March 2011