A HEARTBROKEN mother has spoken of her devastation after her 21-year-old daughter died just five weeks after giving birth.
Natalie Pickles, of Blackpool Old Road, Poulton, suffered a heart attack and died in hospital on April 26.
The young mum had recently given birth to her son Harry by Caesarean section, but suffered from breathlessness in the weeks after surgery.
Doctors believed she may have contracted pneumonia but in fact a far more serious condition was the cause.
Natalie had developed a deep vein thrombosis in her leg which later passed into her heart and caused cardiac arrest.
Medics battled to save her for 50 minutes, but tragically their efforts were in vain.
Now as her devastated parents, Roy and Dawn, and sister Lorna, 23, come to terms with their loss, they paid tribute to a woman who was “born to be a mother”.
Mrs Pickles, 50, said: “Losing Natalie still doesn’t seem real, we keep expecting her to come bounding through the door.
“We’ve lost a quarter of our family, that hole can never be filled, but we have Harry now and he’s our priority.
“Natalie was born to be a mother, she was besotted from the moment she saw Harry and took to it like a duck to water.
“From being little, a mum was all she wanted to be and she was perfect at it.
“We’re just grateful she didn’t suffer and never had to say goodbye to Harry.”
The young mum had shown no obvious symptoms to indicate she had the thrombosis, according to doctors who examined her.
More than 200 people attended her funeral, including colleagues from Claremont Primary School where she worked as a teaching assistant and former classmates from St Mary’s Catholic College.
Tragically, Natalie had been unsure she would ever be able to have children, after developing polycystic ovaries when she was 14.
Her pregnancy was only discovered after 14 weeks but went without complications.
The healthy 10lb infant was 10 days overdue, however, which is why doctors opted for a Caesarean birth.
Lorna is now going through the process of adopting Harry.
The sisters were very close and it was Lorna who travelled to hospital with Natalie and held her hand in the ambulance as she slipped in and out of consciousness.
She said: “In losing Natalie, I’ve lost a lot more than just my little sister, she was my best friend.
“She was the most bubbly person I’ve ever met and lit up a room although she didn’t know it.
“She was an incredible mummy and I had no hesitation in wanting to adopt Harry, it’s what she would have wanted.
“I’ve lost one of the most important people in my life but she’s left a brilliant legacy in Harry.”