- Bear in mind that this is also the same newspapear that set up a sting against Sophie and her PR company several years ago, so take this with a grain of salt -- although still a horrifying though, nonetheless.
EXCLUSIVE: Story behind pregnancy drama
Sophie 20 minutes from death
By Clive Goodman and Rav Singh
SOPHIE Wessex was just 20 minutes from death as paramedics struggled to save her and her baby last weekend.
The countess lost so much blood after collapsing in agony that medics feared she would die on the way to hospital.
And at one stage Prince Edward was warned by phone that he could face a choice between Sophie's life and that of his baby daughter.
During her emergency caesarean operation 38-year-old Sophie needed transfusions of SEVEN pints of blood.
A family friend told the News of the World yesterday: "She was losing it faster than the paramedics could get it into her arm. Another 20 minutes or so and she wouldn't be here today.
"It's a miracle they both got through it safely. She is still quite weak but recovering. It will be some time before she is back to her old self though.
"She was very close to death and it frightened the hell out of everyone who cares for her."
Edward was on an official visit to Mauritius when Sophie collapsed with stomach cramps at their Surrey home, Bagshot Park.
Her baby was due in another month. Royal staff phoned police but the duty officer failed to alert an ambulance.
It was not until 90 minutes later that Sophie had emergency surgery under general anaesthetic at her local Frimley Park NHS hospital.
Edward was contacted in the early hours of Sunday morning and told to stand by.
"You might have to make a choice," the horrified prince was told. Edward, 39, stayed on the line throughout the op.
It was only when surgeons assured him that Sophie and their daughter were out of immediate danger that he hung up and made immediate plans to return home.
We can reveal that although the baby has still not been named, she HAS been given the police codename Purple 18 along with her own royal protection squad guard
The countess is said to have been suffering from a condition called placenta abruptio, in which the baby's afterbirth peels away from the wall of the womb causing massive bleeding.
Blood and oxygen supplies are cut off to the child, which will die unless it is removed from the womb quickly.
Sophie has previously suffered a miscarriage after an ectopic pregnancy and tried test tube baby technology before conceiving naturally.