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A tribute to Jane: Family name newborn after late daughter

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IN MEMORY: Khalil, Rojin and Ava Jane pictured in front of a memorial of their beloved daughter, Jane.

IN MEMORY: Khalil, Rojin and Ava Jane pictured in front of a memorial of their beloved daughter, Jane.

The family of student Jane Khalaf, who died two years ago whilst studying in Cologne after reportedly having her drink spiked with ecstasy, have paid tribute to their late daughter by giving their new child her name.

Baby Ava Jane was born at Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax, at exactly the same time of day that Jane’s life support machine was switched off at the German hospital.

Her Syrian-born father, Khalil, who owns Med One restaurant on Westgate, Huddersfield, said his daughter Jane will ‘always be with him’ but his new baby has also given him some hope.

Khalil said: “By complete chance, she was born at the same time that Jane’s life support was switched off, which was 1.17am.

“Ava means renewal in your life. For me, my life was so changed after Jane. But our new baby has given us a way forward.”

42-year-old Rojin, who gave birth to Ava 18 weeks ago, said: “No one can replace Jane, however Ava Jane changed our situation. We couldn’t believe that we could continue and Ava Jane has given us joy and happiness as a family.”

Khalil added: “We were about to extend our restaurant before this tragedy happened. We had added a whole floor. Jane came to visit for a week and we had the opening day. One day later after she left, Jane was taken to hospital. We still can’t open that floor. The pain is too raw.”

Next month marks the two year anniversary of Jane’s death. It still remains unclear how the ecstasy got into her system.

Rojin explained that the inquest in Bradford uncovered the fact her daughter’s death was ‘more to do with medical negligence’.

This year’s inquest at Bradford Coroners Court on 6th July heard that the gifted politics student was admitted to Cologne’s St Marien Hospital  in the early hours of 12th November 2014, where she was given a preliminary examination, but no blood test was taken.

Around four hours later Jane collapsed and fell into a coma. She was transferred to the Merheim hospital and placed on life support where she remained for eight days before she eventually died on 20th November.

“They could have saved her, and they had so many opportunities that they missed,” Rojin said. “They could have told my daughter not to drink water because it affected her more and more.”

Khalil said: “I was killed twice. My daughter is gone, but we also don’t know the truth so it’s hard to move on.”

Rojin added: “All the evidence has gone. There wasn’t a proper investigation in Germany.”

In between caring for Ava and running their busy restaurant, the couple are focusing on getting St Marien Hospital to admit clinical negligence, although so far the hospital has denied any responsibility.

Thanks to the couple’s loyal customers at their restaurant, they have a strong support network.

Khalil said: “Jane was our hope. Out of the 40 million Kurdish people she was very politically active. She was my project for humanity – to give something back to the people.”

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