‘Magnificent Seven’: Incredible baby bonanza for hospital staff

Pictured, from left and in the order they fell pregnant: Jarsika Kandakulam, medical laboratory assi

Pictured, from left and in the order they fell pregnant: Jarsika Kandakulam, medical laboratory assistant,(MLA); April Barnes (MLA); Donna Farr (MLA); Leanne Price senior biomedical scientist (BMS); Rashpal Mann (BMS), Feny Marattukalam (BMS); Nitha Rakesh (BMS). Picture: BHRUT - Credit: Archant

There must be something in the water at Queen’s Hospital’s microbiology department after an incredible seven members of staff found themselves pregnant at the same time.

The mums-to-be have been nicknamed the Magnificent Seven by colleagues who are looking forward to welcoming the first addition – medical lab assistant Jarsika Kandakulam’s baby, on January 11.

Close behind will be mum-of-one Donna Farr, 35, who is due to give birth to a boy at the end of February.

“We are all young women, around the same age, working together, so it is really lovely,” said the medical lab assistant of 13 years. “What’s nice is that we are all very supportive of one another.”

Donna’s good news paved the way for a baby bonanza at the department.


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Rashpal Mann, 33, due in May, was the fifth woman to announce her pregnancy but admitted putting off telling her boss after someone else got in before her.

“When I discovered another lady had come forward, my jaw just dropped,” said biomedical scientist Rashpal. “I kept mine to myself for a little while longer; I didn’t want to give my boss a heart attack!”

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Senior biomedical scientist Leanne Price, 35, was the sixth person to fall pregnant and she too admitted feeling “a little bit nervous” about telling her bosses – but said they were “really supportive”.

She added: “The maternity department is very familiar with us, they’re saying: ‘It’s another one from microbiology.’ But we’re in the right place for advice!

“The first woman has gone on maternity leave and we’ll be dropping like flies after that.”

“Lucky number seven” Nitha Rakesh, 32, plucked up the courage to announce her pregnancy last month and is due to give birth to her second child in July.

“I’m very happy,” said the biomedical scientist. “Everyone’s been so supportive here.”

Rob Davis, microbiology head biomedical scientist, said his department was “delighted” to welcome so many new additions.

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