Auckland childbirth tragedy: Grieving father plans to travel overseas to be with family

A devastated father who lost his wife and newborn baby within days of each other plans to travel overseas to be with his family to support him through his tragic loss.

Charitha Meepegam told the Weekend Herald his life had been “wiped out” after his wife Nilakshani (Nishi) Silva died during childbirth.

The couple’s baby daughter, Eliana, was rushed to Auckland Hospital but life support was switched off four days later.

Silva, 34, worked as an administrator at a sheet metals company and her former colleagues and acquaintances have rallied around to support Meepegam, who has no family in New Zealand.

He plans to travel to Melbourne to see his brother and sister – who had been unable to come to New Zealand due to the region’s Covid lockdown – before returning to his native country of Sri Lanka to see both his and Silva’s families.

A Givealittle page has been set up by Silva’s former workmates and acquaintances to help raise funds to pay for Meepegama’s travels and burying mother and child together in New Zealand.

A mass for the pair was held at St Therese Catholic Church in Mt Albert at the weekend.

Workmates remember Silva as a hard worker with a positive attitude and with “the highest level of integrity one could ask for in an employee”.

“She lifted everyone’s spirits through her efforts to celebrate any event that she deemed was worthy of focus on one of the team. This included organising cakes, making special lunches and arranging festivities for the staff member who needed to be made to feel special,” the page said.

“We have lost a friend, a mother and wife, and a baby. Nisha has touched the hearts of all she came in contact with.”

Meepegam and Silva moved to New Zealand four-and-a-half years ago and planned to make New Zealand their home.

Meepegam earlier told the Herald he wanted answers about what had happened to his fit and healthy wife.

The night before Silva had been due to go into hospital she started having difficulty breathing and an ambulance was called.

Her health rapidly deteriorated so paramedics rushed her to Auckland Hospital but not long after leaving their Mt Wellington home her heart stopped and first responders performed an emergency C-section and Eliana was born in the ambulance.

Doctors told Meepegam that Silva died from a blood clot.

Eliana was transferred to Starship Hospital but due to a lack of oxygen did not survive.

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