I gave birth to my baby girl while in coma after docs told my husband ‘prepare for the worst’

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FOR Gillian Wright, holding her baby daughter should have been a moment to cherish forever.

But the 28-year-old was in an induced coma after contracting a severe case of flu whilst heavily pregnant.

Gillian Wright, 28, meeting her baby daughter Kayleigh for the first time while still in a medically-induced coma
The youngster was born with the flu so had to be taken to the intensive care unit for emergency treatment

She wasn’t due to give birth to her little girl for three weeks but doctors had no choice but to perform an emergency c-section.

Even after Kayleigh was delivered the situation was still touch and go for the mum-of-two, from Perth, Australia, after she contracted a bacterial infection and pneumonia.

Doctors warned her husband Adam to “prepare for the worst” and her dad Stewart made the long flight from his home near Falkirk, Scotland, when she was admitted on March 22.

Gillian, who moved to Australia with her family when she was 15, told The Sun Online: “I started feeling unwell about a week prior – I was 36 weeks pregnant.

“I went to the hospital but I was discharged after about an hour – even though my heart rate and the baby’s heart rate was really high.

“I went to the GP a few days later but he told me to take some Panadol and sent me on my way.

“That Friday I wasn’t feeling any better – I was lethargic, tired and quite emotional.

“I’d get quite down and I felt I couldn’t take anything to get any better so I went back to the GP at the hospital and this time they sent me straight to the emergency department.

“I had a CT scan done and was put on a ward – by the morning I was taken to the intensive care unit because of my condition.”

Best chance of survival

Gillian says by this point, she barely remembers what was happening to her but she does recall being told they were going to have to put her into a coma to carry out the c-section.

Medics said the operation was vital to help open up her lungs – and to give her and the baby the best possible chance of survival.

She said: “I remember agreeing to coma but Adam had to agree to the c-section. He said to me it was the hardest decision he would ever have to make.”

Kayleigh was born at 3.05pm on March 23, and taken straight for urgent care after she contracted the flu virus from her mum.

Gillian’s husband Adam, pictured, was told the mother of his children might not make it and to ‘prepare for the worst’
Mum and baby were finally discharged and reunited with dad Adam and brother Hunter, 4

Gillian said it upset her knowing that her baby girl was put on her chest as soon as she was born but she wasn’t able to recall the moment.

“I don’t remember meeting her for the first time – I was still quite out of it. It was a bit hazy for me, but when I do remember meeting her, I thought she was the smallest, cutest thing,” she said.

Gillian was only supposed to be in an induced coma for 24 hours, but ended up being eight days after she picked up an infection on the ward.

She said: “Doctors told my family that worst thing that could happen was if I got a secondary infection – and I did.

“The bacteria was floating around and carried through the air through the tubes in my mouth and ended up in my lungs.”

Might not make it

She said that it was at this point that her relatives were told to prepare for the worst.

“I know Adam was told twice and they told my mum I might not make it either,” she said.

Speaking to news.com.au, Adam said his “whole world was rocked” after a meeting with doctors.

He said: “I had a meeting with them all and they told me she’s not going to make it, and if she did, she’d be very lucky.”

But the brave mum, who also has a four-year-old son named Hunter, defied the odds and days later she was finally taken out of the coma.

Gillian was able to hold her little girl properly for the first time after spending 10 days on antibiotics to battle the virus.

What are the symptoms of flu?

It usually takes between one and three days for flu symptoms to develop after catching the virus.

In most cases people feel better after a week.

The NHS explains that the main symptoms include a fever of more than 38C, a chesty cough, headache, tiredness and aching muscles as well as a sore throat, runny nose and sneezing.

Some people can also experience nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea or joint and l

There are lots of different strains of influenza which fall into categories A, B or C.

Category A is further broken down into specific strains of the virus, and one of these is H3N2.

Flu symptoms are the same regardless of what strain you have but H3N2 cases have been reported as more severe in recent years.

Between 2003 – 2013 H3N2 caused more deaths on average than other years.

Between 2014-2015 a mutated H3N2 virus caused the majority of flu cases in the US.

In 2017, Australia had its worst flu outbreak on record with the number of people needing hospital treatment double that of the previous year.

Some hospitals had standing room only as the H3N2 strain of the winter bug struck the country with more than 137,500 cases confirmed by the start of September

imb pain.


The family were all discharged from the hospital and Kayleigh, now three months old, is “absolutely, 100 per cent perfect”, according to her proud dad Adam.

They are now warning of the importance of getting the flu vaccination.

Adam said: “We really want to make people aware, especially pregnant women, how important it is to get vaccinated.”

Gillian in her hospital bed after being placed in a coma to save hers and her baby’s life
The tot hooked up to wires in ICU after she was born sick
Little Kayleigh went on to make a full recovery and is now a happy three-month-old
Kayleigh was born while her mum was in a coma as she battled a severe bout of flu

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