A heavily pregnant woman has been left to care for her sister’s baby after her sibling died of shock just weeks after giving birth.
Lorena Ferreira, 31, is originally from Brazil but now lives in the UK and is looking after her young niece – while expecting her own child in just a few weeks.
Her sister Mariana Ferreira, 29, fell from a flat near Putney, south-west London, on March 25, police said.
An investigation has been launched but at this time her death is being treated as unexpected but not suspicious.
Lorena, who has a husband, said, “It was really hard for me.” She was my best friend and my only sister. My heart hurts so bad. Those days were so difficult. Only my husband works and we have problems.”
Lorena Ferreira (pictured left, with her sister Mariana, right), 31, is originally from Brazil but is now based in the UK looking after her young niece – while expecting her own child in just a few weeks
Lorena and Mariana moved to the UK five years ago and have both taken odd jobs around the house for work.
Not only were they inseparable themselves, but they also married brothers from the Brazilian city of Goiânia.
In November 2022, they both found out they were pregnant at the same time – Mariana three months later. Unfortunately, Mariana passed away two months ago – just two weeks after giving birth.
Devastated Lorena has to take care of the little girl – and since she can’t work, she needs help now.
Patricia Wilson, 37, was previously employed by Lorena. She has set up a donation page to support the mother-to-be.
Patricia said: “Lorena was so looking forward to the birth of Mariana’s baby. I’d even seen photos from their baby shower – it looked like a really happy day.
“I was just getting into my car and received a text message from Lorena telling me that Mariana had passed away. I was breathless. My brain wouldn’t accept it, I just thought, ‘No, that didn’t happen. That can’t have happened.”
In the days following Mariana’s death, Lorena told Patricia that she could no longer work for her.
Devastated Lorena has to look after the little girl (pictured) – and since she can’t work, she needs help now
Lorena and Mariana (pictured together) moved to the UK five years ago and have both taken up odd jobs around the house for work
Patricia said, “She has offered to try and find a replacement of her own, which is just a testament to how hardworking she is.’ I told her not to worry at all.’
After learning of Mariana’s death, Patricia informed a network of people who also employed Lorena – and a group of them banded together to donate her toys and gear for their new babies.
Patricia said: “We reached out to a mum’s WhatsApp group and ended up filling a car with donations – including a really nice stroller, clothes, toys and a baby carrier.”
“We went to Lorena with the donations and it was incredibly moving.” She was obviously desperate. “She really is such a gentle woman, she cried and so did we – it was such an emotional time.”
Inspired by how much others wanted to help, Patricia decided to start a small crowdfunding to help cover Lorena’s childcare costs in any way she could.
She first set up a JustGiving page with a goal of £2,000.
She said, “I wanted to be able to do something different.” I decided to start this fundraiser. I originally set a goal of £2,000 simply because I wanted to reach out to other mothers who might be touched by this story.
In November 2022, they both found out they were pregnant at the same time – and Mariana (pictured while pregnant) three months later. Unfortunately, Mariana passed away two months ago – just two weeks after giving birth
“But it picked up speed really quickly and it seemed like they understood how difficult the first few days can be for new moms.”
“It’s unbelievable – in a matter of weeks this woman lost her sister who was also her best friend and now has to look after her two-month-old niece while expecting her own baby.”
“Lorena was so touched by the gesture and believes this money will really help.”
“They have traveled all the way from Brazil and we hope this money will give Lorena some breathing room and reassurance that a majority of her childcare costs are now covered.”
“This was a four-person household, all working — but since Mariana’s death, her husband and sister have left work.” “Now Lorena’s husband is the only person who has a steady income.”
A spokesman for the Met Police said: “Police were called by London Ambulance just after 5pm on Saturday March 25, following reports that a woman had fallen from a flat on Keevil Drive, SW19.”
“The rescue service was on site and immediately provided first aid.” Despite her efforts, the woman – probably in her late 20s – died at the scene of the accident. Your family has been informed.
“The death is being treated as unexpected, but is not considered suspicious at this early stage.”