German doctors delivered a baby girl two days after her mother contracted a fatal brain condition just weeks before her due date.

Franziske Lemke, 25, was left severely brain damaged after she became infected by a rare meningitis inflammation which could not be cured by regular antibiotic treatment.

Two weeks previously, she had complained of a headache and stiffness in her neck while hosting a party with friends and family. After attending hospital ahead of her delivery she was diagnosed by doctors with the fatal condition.

Doctors managed to keep her alive for 48 hours and were able to successfully deliver daughter Leonie-Franziske. Her death means widower Dominik Lemke, 29, will now be raising the newborn and their other two children, Elias, 3, Louis, 2, on his own.

"Franziska had a rapid deterioration, and after a quarter of an hour in the hospital she did not recognise me," said Lemke.

"On Friday my daughter came into the world by caesarean section. We actually wanted to call her Leonie-Fabienne, but now she's named after her mama Leonie-Franziska.

"The little girl is healthy. I kept her happy in my arms, but at the same time I cried for my wife, who could not share this moment with me."

Doctors at the Berlin hospital were given permission to turn off the life-support machines by Lemke, which had been used to keep his wife alive for her daughter's birth. Lemke says he had to give up training to be a train driver and will now have to be a "mother and father" to his children.

"I caressed her and told her I would always be there for the children, but I had to let her go. We don't know yet how to get back into everyday life. I explained to my children that 'Mama is now an angel.'"

A fundraising appeal has been issued for Lemke and his young family.