A 29-year-old mother is fighting for her life after giving birth to her premature baby just two weeks earlier.

North Shore mum Kate Meldrum suffered a heart attack while visiting her newborn in the intensive care unit at Auckland City Hospital.

Rushed to emergency with a ruptured heart valve, Meldrum underwent seven hours of open heart surgery.

Meldrum, who her sister says is a "beautiful soul", is now on life support.

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Her baby, Ruby Turner, just five floors above remains in intensive care after being born at 26 weeks weighing just over 500g - the weight of a block of butter.

Meldrum's fiance and father to Ruby, Joe Turner, continues to jump between the two wards.

"If Kate had her heart attack anywhere else, she would have died," her sister Steph Everest said.

Kate Meldrum, who her sister says is a
Kate Meldrum, who her sister says is a "beautiful soul", is now on life support.

She said Meldrum was slowly being brought out of sedation but there was still a lot of concern.

"She went without oxygen for a few minutes when she had the attack and it was unknown yet what damage that had done.

"We have concerns with what's happening with Kate upstairs...she will be having an MRI scan at some stage - hopefully today - to see what affect it's had."

"She's slowly responding which is hopeful," Everest said.

The older sister said Meldrum had a history of blood clots in her liver and kidneys but never her heart.

"It was completely unexpected... we thought the scary was over when Ruby was born."

Everest said Ruby remains on a ventilator which is helping her breathe.

"She's a wee fighter, just like her mum. She has the strongest parents in the world, she can't not get better."

A Givealittle page has been set up to help support Turner and the couple's baby during this traumatic time.