AN adored mum died just hours after giving birth to a beautiful baby boy.
Hartlepool woman Joanne Jones delivered little Riley Jeff Jo Jones at The University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, a month before his due date.
But the 35-year-old spent just 20 minutes cradling her precious premature newborn before she was taken to theatre to have routine surgery to remove her placenta which had not come away as normal.
She kissed goodbye to her beloved husband Anthony Jones - after passing on news of the healthy new arrival to their two delighted daughters on the phone - and underwent the operation.
But 40 minutes later medics returned to the room where Anthony, 33, was with 5lb 4oz baby Riley, and revealed that Joanne had suffered a cardiac arrest.
Despite doctors finding a pulse and managing to stabilise the mum-of-three for several hours, she tragically lost her life about nine hours later.
Today Joanne’s devastated and heartbroken family paid tribute to the “best mam in the world” and told how they will one day tell baby Riley all about her.
Anthony, a self-employed plasterer, of Kingsley Avenue, Hartlepool, said: “I don’t think it will ever sink in.
“I’m just so glad Joanne got to hold Riley after he was born even if it was just for a short time, she had him on her chest.
“I got pictures of him like that but none of her holding him because I didn’t think she wouldn’t be coming back. She saw me with him as well, she did that for us.”
He added: “Joanne was the backbone of our family and it sounds cliched, but she really was the best mam in the world.”
Joanne’s mum Dianne Baker, 56, dad Jeff Baker, 56, who both work at Throston Service Station, and sister Naomi Baker, 27, a shop assistant, each said how proud they were to have her as a daughter and sister.
Dianne, of Trentbrooke Avenue, said: “She really wanted to give us our grandson because we’ve never had a boy in the family.
“She would have idolised Riley, she fought to get that baby out safe.
“She would have wanted him to live instead of her, I’m just glad that she got to see him.”
Joanne, a teaching assistant and nursery teacher at St Cuthbert’s Primary School, in Stratford Road, Hartlepool, suffered some complications during her pregnancy.
She discovered she was pregnant at New Year after planning the baby and coming off medication she was on for rheumatoid arthritis, a condition she had suffered from since the age of 21.
During a routine 20-week scan doctors told the couple that Joanne’s placenta was ‘low-lying’, which meant she may have had to have a Caesarian birth unless it moved to a safer position.
On July 22, the family took a trip to Butlins, Minehead, to celebrate the eighth birthday of their youngest daughter Millie Jones.
But on the second day, Joanne’s waters broke – two months before her due date – and she was taken to a hospital in Taunton where doctors decided to keep Riley in the womb and prescribe her anti-biotics for any potential infection.
Joanne, a former Manor school pupil, was then transferred by ambulance to North Tees where medics discharged her on July 29 and ordered her to return every few days for routine checks.
On August 9, Joanne complained of a pain in her side, but hospital doctors could not find anything wrong.
Three days later, on Monday last week, Joanne started bleeding and Anthony rushed her back through to North Tees hospital where doctors decided to induce her for a natural birth.
Baby Riley came into the world at 4.50pm the next day, on Tuesday, August 13, and at 2am the following day Joanne died.
Joanne and Anthony’s daughters Connie Letts-Jones, 11, and Millie - who attended the school where their mum worked - wanted to speak to the Mail about her.
Connie, who is due to start English Martyrs School in September, said: “We’ll tell Riley all about our mam when he’s older. She was very generous and she would always help people.
“We had brilliant games of pool and me and my mam were the ‘blonde bimbos’ and Millie and dad were the ‘dark destroyers’.
“She was a brilliant mam.”
Millie added: “When we had homework she would always help us. She wasn’t scared of anything, but she wouldn’t like leaving everyone.”
Anthony, who married Leeds University textiles design graduate Joanne at St Patrick’s Church, in Owton Manor Lane, nine years ago, said: “It’ll be a while before I go back to work. Luckily Joanne’s got me well trained so I can look after us.
“Joanne, we were so privileged to have such a special wife, mam, daughter and sister. Sleep with the angels.”
Riley’s third name was changed from Anthony to Jo to be like his mum, who also leaves behind mother and father-in-law Kevin Jones, 59, and Denise Jones, 56.