A mother who gave birth while in a coma has woken up after three months after being struck down with flu while pregnant.
Sarah Hawthorn, 33, from Cobram, north of Victoria, didn’t know she gave birth to her baby boy last August 28 when she fell into a coma after contracting Influenza A in the later stages of her pregnancy that led to other medical complications such as pneumonia, among others.
Her sister-in-law, Rachel Holt told The Border Mail months ago that Sarah was fit and healthy with ‘a cold some would say’. “She took every vitamin under the sun and did everything by the book during her pregnancy,” Ms Holt said.
She added that as the weeks went by, Sarah attended the doctors ‘multiple times only to be sent home.’
While the flu has left the new mother fighting for her life, she gave birth to her newborn son, who was nicknamed ‘Bomber Hawk’ until she wakes up to name him, who spent the first few months of his life away from her.
The baby was delivered six weeks early to give Sarah a fighting chance to survive.
Now, after three months, Sarah wakes up and is in a stable condition at Alfred Hospital, Victoria. “After three months in intensive care, Sarah’s condition has improved and she is now stable,” Sarah’s family said in a statement to The Herald Sun on Thursday. “Her son is fit and healthy.”
The family said Sarah still had a fair way to go in terms of rehabilitation but they’re happy she may now be able to meet her baby.
At the time, immunisation expert Professor Paul Van Buynder said Sarah was lucky that her son was able to survive. He said that more has to be done to ensure pregnant women were vaccinated and protected from illnesses.
ABC’s 7.30 reported that NSW was the hardest hit in the country with 218 flu related deaths, followed by Victoria with 95 and Tasmania with 32. South Australia had 26 recorded flu related deaths.
There have been more than 170,000 confirmed cases of influenza in the country this year with August the peak month.