Coma mum wakes

The Cobram Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By Kenji Sato

A Co­bram woman who gave birth while she was in a coma has wo­ken up.

Af­ter three months in in­ten­sive care at The Al­fred Hos­pi­tal in Mel­bourne, Sarah Hawthorn is now in a sta­ble con­di­tion.

Ms Hawthorn, 33, be­came crit­i­cally ill when she was struck down by in­fluenza dur­ing the late stages of her preg­nancy.

Ms Hawthorn’s son was de­liv­ered five weeks pre­ma­ture dur­ing an emer­gency birth on Au­gust 28, but is re­ported to be fit and healthy.

Ms Hawthorn’s sis­ter-in-law Rachel Holt set up a gofundme page for the fam­ily. The page hit its tar­get of $20 000 in less than a day and has since raised more than $30 000.

‘‘We have been over­whelmed by the sup­port and con­cern shown for our fam­ily,’’ Ms Holt said.

‘‘Her baby boy has never had the chance to lay with his mum, snug­gle into her chest or hear her in­fec­tious laugh.

‘‘If noth­ing less, we hope this raises aware­ness of the high risk of the flu dur­ing preg­nancy.’’

Ms Hawthorn’s story re­ceived na­tional cov­er­age from me­dia out­lets in­clud­ing the ABC and the

❝If noth­ing less, we hope this raises aware­ness of the high risk of the flu dur­ing preg­nancy.❞ — Rachel Holt

Her­ald Sun and The Aus­tralian news­pa­pers.

Ms Hawthorn’s in­fluenza at­tack took place dur­ing one of the worst flu sea­sons in liv­ing mem­ory.

Mem­ber for North­ern Vic­to­ria Ja­clyn Symes said it had been a tough year for Vic­to­rian hos­pi­tals, which recorded more than 14 000 flu cases, some of which were fa­tal.

‘‘Hos­pi­tals across Vic­to­ria, in­clud­ing here in north­ern Vic­to­ria, have been feel­ing the pres­sure this flu sea­son,’’ Ms Symes said.

‘‘This flu sea­son has hit us hard and ev­ery sin­gle one of our pub­lic hos­pi­tals in coun­try Vic­to­ria has been work­ing over­time so Vic­to­ri­ans can con­tinue to have ac­cess to the care they need when they need it.’’

On the mend: Af­ter three months in in­ten­sive care, Sarah Hawthorn’s con­di­tion is sta­ble.

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