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Case study: Mother praises south London researchers for changing her life

A grateful mum has praised south London researchers for completing her family by giving her a daughter.

The Preg-CoV study, running at St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, currently has around 300 pregnant women taking part nationally. It aims to determine the best vaccine schedules and doses to protect women and their babies against COVID-19.

Gursharon from Merton, south-west London, is taking part in the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Preg-CoV study at St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The study is being supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network South London.

The 36-year-old had three miscarriages before giving birth to her daughter, Amira, in April of this year at St George's Hospital. Gursharon said research has given her everything she wanted from life. She said:

"I've wanted to be a mum for such a long time. This pregnancy was so important because my husband, Dennis, and I both really wanted to have a baby. I love being a parent, it is hard work, but everything is worth it to have Amira. I've had a few miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy, which was a devastating experience for my family and I.

"I got vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect Amira, myself and my loved ones from this awful virus. I am an Indian woman, who is asthmatic, so my risk of being seriously ill from COVID-19 was high. I got sick with COVID-19 towards the end of my pregnancy. Thankfully, my symptoms were mild, but it could have been ten times worse if I hadn't got vaccinated.

"I'm passionate about research, and I want to do my bit to help others. I want to thank the staff at St George's Hospital for the wonderful care they provided to me, my baby and my family. Volunteering for the Preg-CoV study is the first time I've taken part in research, and I will sign up for something similar in the future."

Gursharon was already vaccinated against COVID-19 before volunteering for the Preg-CoV study.

She had to complete a health questionnaire, have blood taken from her and Amira and have follow-up appointments with a midwife.

You can find out more about the Preg-CoV study on the St George’s Vaccine Institute website.