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UK Saffa’s rally to support critical prem baby following mom’s death on Christmas Eve.

The South African expat community have once again showed an outpouring of support following the unexpected death of a pregnant South African lady in the UK.

Phumeza Gogela passed away on Christmas eve after suffering a cardiac arrest in Bolton, UK. The 35 year old Xhosa mom-to-be was 25 weeks pregnant at the time and is originally from Gilton, Alice, Eastern Cape.Baby Phumeza Esther Gogela-Sam has been on life support and is in a critical but stable condition. It is believed that she suffered from lack of oxygen supply following her mom's death. As a result, she has 3 bleeds on her brain and a weak heart and is not responding well to treatment at Royal Bolton hospital. Baby Phumeza was christened on Tuesday 27 December 2016 and her dad, Prince Sam, from Ghana, and her mom's closest relative in the UK, cousin Portia Gogela Roberts have been at baby's side constantly in the past few days. Portia has been travelling from Northampton to Bolton daily (3 hours each way by car or train).

Brave dad Sam with baby Phumeza and a photo of the late mom-to-be, Phumeza.

Through the power of networking in the SA community, Rev. Scott Manning, originally from Gauteng, visited the family at the hospital on Wednesday evening and has said he will do all he can to support the family through their grief. He calls on the global South African community to please pray for both baby Phumeza as well as for Sam and Portia who are trying to come to terms with the situation and make decisions going forward.

Phumeza and Sam were making plans to welcome their baby girl in the new year.

The family hopes to provide Phumeza with a traditional burial in SA which means they need to repatriate her body. There are other costs and needs such as accommodation for Portia whilst she is in Bolton, food, travel etc as well as possible support required for Portia's family in Northampton next week when her husband returns to work as Portia has 2 children of her own. The community would also like to contribute towards counselling for both Sam and Portia. Portia has agreed to travel back to SA with Phumeza's body when it is repatriated.

Portia singing to baby Phumeza in Xhosa at the hospital earlier this week.

We have set up a Go Fund Me page for the family. All donations will be deposited into Portia's account so that she can make arrangements for the repatriation, funeral and memorial services etc. If you would like to contribute please follow the link: Support the Gogela Family. If you are able to support in any other way or have any questions, please contact Hayley via the link above or email [email protected] and Sam have expressed their deepest gratitude for the support received during this difficult time and are amazed at the community's willingness to come together in time of need. 

About Hayley Reichert

Passionate South African in London with a ‘glass half full’ approach to life.