British Columbia

B.C. mother who gave birth while in a coma due to COVID-19 is awake, meets baby for first time

Gillian McIntosh, who gave birth via C-section, had been in an induced coma and on a ventilator because of COVID-19 since November.

Gillian McIntosh gave birth via C-section while in an induced coma and on a ventilator

The McIntoshes' newborn son, Travis Len, was released from hospital on Nov. 25. His mom contracted COVID-19 and had the baby via emergency C-section while in an induced coma in Abbotsford, B.C. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Gillian McIntosh, the Abbotsford, B.C., woman who gave birth via C-section in early November while in an induced coma and on a ventilator because of COVID-19, has been eased out of her coma and has met her newborn son for the first time. 

According to a family representative, McIntosh was taken off the ventilator last week. After she tested negative for COVID-19, she finally met her baby over the weekend.

The baby's name, which was kept under wraps until McIntosh could see him, was revealed to be Travis Len. McIntosh didn't know that the baby was a boy.

Dave and Gillian McIntosh seen in a family photo with their three-year-old daughter. (Submitted to CBC)

McIntosh started feeling sick in the first week of November. She chalked up her symptoms to pregnancy-related pressure and pain late in her third trimester, but then she took a turn for the worse, becoming nauseated and unable to eat. She went to the hospital, leaving her husband, Dave McIntosh, to look after their three-year-old daughter.

"That's when they found out she had pneumonia and tested positive for COVID," Dave said.

"They said she would be in there, hopefully, a couple of days ... and then, all of a sudden, everything just went haywire."

The last communication Dave had with his wife came in the form of a text saying she was being taken in for an emergency C-section due to complications from the novel coronavirus, he said.

Since the birth, Gillian has remained in an induced coma in the intensive care unit. The baby, who is healthy and spent some time in the neonatal care unit initially for monitoring, went home with Dave in late November.

Gillian will remain in the ICU for now but is in stable condition. It is not known how long she will remain in hospital, the family representative said.

With files from Briar Stewart