Dad with 'Bad Cold' Goes to Hospital, Forgets That Wife is 9 Months Pregnant


How often have we heard stories of some little problem that snowballed into a huge issue in a very short time?

This kind of thing happens all the time in the area of health and wellness. A tiny mole or a slight pain can soon turn into a life-threatening condition in no time at all.

When 27-year-old John Lancaster had a persistent cough, he assumed it was just a bad cold. It wasn’t getting any better, though, so his wife urged him to go into the hospital.

Doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with Lancaster either, so they flew him to the Sentara Heart Hospital in Norfolk, North Carolina. There, the doctors discovered an undetected heart condition that was threatening Lancaster’s lungs.

Lancaster went into surgery to have an ECMO (Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation) device installed. He was placed in a medically induced coma for 18 days.

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When he woke up, he had missed a lot. “I remember having a cough and then I remember going to the hospital in Elizabeth City and then I woke up here [Sentara Heart Hospital],” he told WTKR.

Lancaster’s memory wasn’t all there, and he ended up forgetting that his wife had been nine months pregnant when he went under. She had given birth by the time he woke up.

“It was hard giving birth without him. It was not going the way it was supposed to go,” Erica Lancaster said.

But she wasn’t about to lie in bed, resting, when her husband was fighting a separate battle in another room.

She ended up giving birth right before her husband went under the knife for a life-saving procedure.

Undeterred by her post-birth state and finding it necessary to be by her husband’s side, she enlisted a relative to help her. “After delivering her, an hour later I made my sister wheelchair me down before his procedure,” Erica said.

When he woke up, John was treated to the surprise of a new, healthy daughter. He called holding his daughter “better than any medicine in the world. Pretty amazing.”

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John also praised the doctors who saved his life. Without them, he might not have lived to hold his daughter for the first time.

“They are rock stars,” said John. “They saved my life and it means a lot. There were a lot of tears. I’m trying my best not to cry right now.”

Now, John has the greatest reason to get healthy again. “They are my rock,” he said of his wife and daughter. “They keep me wanting to push to get out and get better.”

All the best to this lovely little family. May they all recover quickly and completely, and enjoy their lives together happy and healthy.

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