An Abbotsford mom with COVID-19 whose baby was delivered while she was in an induced coma has been released from hospital.
Gillian McIntosh posted Wednesday (Dec. 30) on a GoFundMe page set up in support of her family that she was discharged from hospital on the afternoon of Christmas Eve.
She described being able to celebrate the holidays with her family as “one of the best gifts” she has ever received.
Gillian and her husband Dave had been expecting their second child – they also have a three-year-old daughter – on Nov. 25, but Gillian was hospitalized and diagnosed with COVID-19 on Nov. 6.
The family has said they do not know how Gillian contracted the virus.
By Nov. 10, her condition deteriorated to the point that she required a ventilator to breathe, and the decision was made to deliver the couple’s baby by C-section that evening while she was in an induced coma.
Gillian remained in critical condition, and Dave was able to bring their newborn son home on Nov. 25.
Gillian came off the ventilator and was able to finally meet her newborn son, Travis, on the weekend of Dec. 12-13.
“It’s a very surreal experience to wake from a month-long coma, when the last thing I remember was going to the emergency department having trouble breathing and texting my husband that they were going to keep me in for a few days,” she posted on the GoFundMe page.
“Waking up, no longer pregnant, but to know our sweet baby boy joined the world and was healthy was such a relief and blessing.”
Gillian said the “outpouring of kindness” that the family received during their ordeal “reinforces that there is much goodness that surrounds us.”
“Thank you to every single one of you for your thoughts, prayers, good wishes and donations during this unexpected life event.”
The couple also thanked the medical staff at Abbotsford Regional Hospital for their “outstanding care” of Gillian and Travis.
“The cruel and unforgiving nature of COVID-19 has put our family through so much, but for the many months of the pandemic now, our front-line health-care workers have endured so much more,” Dave said.
“It takes special people to be able to keep doing what our health-care workers have been doing for so long. Please join us in thanking all health-care workers for their care and service throughout this unprecedented health crisis in our history.”
Family friend Corina Rochon also thanked all the supporters. The GoFundMe campaign, which raised almost $101,000, was closed on Dec. 31.
“I am so very grateful this story can close with a positive update,” Rochon wrote.
She started the campaign to help support the family with expenses while Dave is off work as a machine operator with a Langley company. It is not known whether Gillian will be able to return to her sales job at a Surrey screening equipment company in the future.
It is also not known what kind of long-term damage Gillian might have, mainly to her lungs. While in hospital, she underwent daily physiotherapy to re-learn to walk. Until her balance and strength are restored, she requires assistance from a walker and cane and other mobilitiy aids.
Gillian will continue as an out-patient to work on regaining her strength and fine motor skills.