When a Kansas woman caught the H1N1 virus (also known as swine flu), it wasn’t just her own life that was suddenly put in danger: the teen was seven months pregnant. Fearing for the lives of both mother and child, doctors placed her in a medically induced coma.
Abigail Unruh came down with what she thought was a cold in December. As her symptoms worsened, doctors began treating her for bronchitis. The 19-year old fainted on New Years Eve and was rushed to a hospital, where it was discovered that the flu had progressed to pneumonia.
Unable to breathe on her own, Unruh was placed on a ventilator.
Two days later, something unexpected happened: Unruh, deep asleep in a coma and still a month shy of her due date, started going into labor. Doctors didn’t think she’d survive a Caesarian section, so they let the body take its natural course.
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Two teams of doctors were brought in – one for the baby, one for the mother.
Although the mother didn’t wake up while or after giving birth, the procedure went smoothly, and a healthy baby boy, Douglas, was born.
Unruh had to be kept on the ventilator for another two weeks after giving birth. When she finally woke up, she was still too weak to hold her child.
Both she and her child are still in the hospital, growing stronger, and are expected to be moved to another facility shortly.
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The new mother has expressed regret at having missed the first two weeks of Douglas’s life. “I missed out on actually giving birth to my son,” she has said.
“I will be getting my flu shot from now on,” Unruh added.
Sources: Daily Mail, www.nydailynews.com
Photo Source: www.nydailynews.com