Lifestyle & Human Interest

The COVID Coma: How One Mom Missed Her Own Son's Birth


In what is perhaps the greatest twist on the 1995 Sandra Bullock film “While You Were Sleeping,” a Canadian woman recently shared the experience of meeting the baby she gave birth to while in a medically-induced coma.

According to CFTO-DT, Gillian McIntosh was almost 36 weeks pregnant when she tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 6. After being admitted to Abbotsford Regional Hospital, the expecting mother’s condition deteriorated on Nov. 10, and she required a ventilator to breathe.

Since McIntosh appeared to be in a critical state, the doctors acted quickly to save both the mother and her baby.

Even though she was in a medically-induced coma, the doctors made the decision on the same day to deliver the baby via emergency C-section.

After the delivery, the newborn spent 15 days in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit while his mother remained in a coma.

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As Coast Mountain News reported, the newborn’s father was able to bring him home on Nov. 25. Since McIntosh was still unable to meet the baby, her family did not publicly reveal that the child’s name was Travis Len until his mother could hear it first.

Due to her comatose state, not only did McIntosh not know the baby’s gender, but she also had no idea that she had given birth, according to CFTO-DT.

It was not until she was eased out of her coma in December that the mother finally had a chance to meet her newborn child.

“I woke up and the nurse told me that I had been in a coma for four weeks,” McIntosh said. “And that they had delivered the baby by emergency C-section and that I had a son.”

In a statement published by CFTO-DT on March 10, McIntosh said that, with the exception of meeting Travis, she remembered little about the events surrounding her coma.

“I don’t remember full details of even leaving the ER, but then waking up four weeks later having had my son,” she said.

The hospital eventually discharged McIntosh on Christmas Eve, but part of the recovery process included adapting to changes resulting from the coma.

The mother had to learn how to walk again, and she reportedly attends physical and occupational therapy sessions several times a week as she continues to recover her strength.

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Her voice also changed due to the extended intubation, but McIntosh said she hopes the rasp will disappear sometime this year.

“I’m basically healthy except my lungs do have some issues, but that will be an ongoing situation,” she said. “The fact that I’ve been recovering so well to this point is really a huge miracle.”

Despite having missed parts of baby Travis’s life, McIntosh is doing her best to focus on the positives.

“I missed the first six weeks of his life, but I also missed that first six weeks of that painful new parent sleeping routine,” the mother said.

Within the statement provided to CFTO-DT, McIntosh said that she is adapting well to taking care of her new baby. She also did not hold back expressing gratitude toward the medical professionals responsible for both of their care.

“I’m incredibly grateful for everybody at the hospital who has helped get me back on track and make sure that my son was healthy and that we’re all here together,” she said.

“Every nurse from the beginning to the end … they were all so amazing. I can’t say enough about true support and genuine care that they all gave to me.”

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Samantha Kamman is an associate staff writer for The Western Journal. She has been published in several media outlets, including Live Action News and the Washington Examiner.
Samantha Kamman is an associate staff writer for The Western Journal. She has been published in several media outlets, including Live Action News and the Washington Examiner.