A YOUNG mother has died just hours after giving birth to a baby boy.
Friends of Nicole Taylor said the 20-year-old was “so looking forward to being a mum”.
But doctors at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary were forced to deliver tiny Harris 13 weeks early after she was struck down by a brain condition called encephalitis.
Despite a desperate battle to save her she slipped into a coma and later died.
Harris is understood to be in the hospital’s neo-natal unit where his condition is not known.
One family member, who asked not to be named, paid tribute to Nicole, saying: “Everyone is devastated.
“She was such a charismatic person who was looking forward to being a mum. The family will absolutely dote on Harris.”
Family members had twice called NHS24 after Nicole fell ill on Friday night.
They were referred to NHS Lothian’s out-of-hours service on both occasions and Nicole was later rushed in to hospital by ambulance.
But after falling into a coma she never regained consciousness.
Harris was born on Monday afternoon, weighing just 2lb 8oz, only hours before his mother passed away.
Nicole’s father David, 53, mother Caroline, 51, and boyfriend Kieran Finlay, 26, are thought to have been with her when she died.
The family, from the South Gyle area of Edinburgh, are currently too upset to talk about their heartbreaking ordeal.
The family member said: “She had been healthy throughout her pregnancy.
“I kept clinging to the hope she would be alright once they got all the antibiotics and things in, but it wasn’t to be. Some of the family were in the waiting room when we were told Nicole was dead.”
A friend of the former Craigmount High School pupil added: “She was bright and bubbly and was so looking forward to being a mum. It’s all she was thinking about.”
Dozens of Nicole’s friends took to Facebook to pay tribute to her.
Her best friend, Scott Fairlamb, posted a picture of the tragic mother enjoying a glass of champagne and wrote: “One in a million xxx”.
Chris Murray told Scott: “I know hearing your voice would have helped her pull through and give birth to her little boy.”
David Turner added: “So tragic she gave birth to a child she never had the chance to meet.”
While Steven Henderson said: “I am so, so, so sorry thoughts are out to the family and the rest of you in grief. Nicole’s a very loved girl and will never be forgotten.”
And Jordan Palmer consoled Scott, saying: “I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it must be to lose a close friend but I know your friends mean everything to you. Look after yourself & the girls Mr. Wee baby Harris doesn’t realise how lucky he is having someone like you around.”
Encephalitis is a swelling of the brain usually triggered by a viral infection.
Last night NHS 24 Medical Director Professor George Crooks said: “Our sincere sympathy is with the family. We will carry out a detailed investigation.”
Dr David Farquharson, Medical Director of NHS Lothian, also pledged to investigate Nicole’s death, saying: “We are aware contact was made with our out-of-hours service and a GP practice.”