A Gold Coast woman has died from severe brain damage just hours after giving birth.
Imogen Petrak, 36 weeks pregnant, checked into a hospital on Friday with an ear infection.
Renee King, who runs a local playgroup which Ms Petrak’s 17-month-old son JB attends, said Imogen’s ear infection had somehow travelled to her brain.
“(It was a) suspected strain of bacterial meningococcal,” Ms King said.
Ms King said the mother had an emergency C-section performed and baby Eleanor was born four-weeks premature.
Ms Petrak’s husband John posted on Facebook that Eleanor is “doing very well” and had her mother’s “lips, ears and hair,” but was devastated by the loss of his wife.
“Leaving to go home, her suitcase she prepared was in the boot, never to be used.
“At home, her sewing machine on the table, with unfinished work for Eleanor.”
Ms King said Ms Petrak and her husband were longstanding members and serving in ministry at Lifehouse Christian Church.
She said Ms Petrak was loved by “all that crossed her path” and her husband, despite the loss of “his life partner”, had “unwavering faith”.
“I just can't fathom the pain and headache, the loss that is being felt right now,” Ms King said.
Ms King has since started a GoFundMe page to raise enough funds for Mr Petrak and his children, as a buffer for the next three months, and to pay for Imogen’s funeral.
“Please help me help them, help me give him three months not having to worry about working or paying the bills, to give him time to figure out what life is going to be looking like for them now without his wife and his children’s mother,” she said.
So far the page has been shared more than 9600 times and has raised more than $64,000.