Dave McIntosh holds his newborn son in the Abbotsford Regional Hospital in this undated photo. Dave McIntosh has been able to hold his newborn son, but his wife Gill has not. Gill, 37, remains in the intensive care unit of the Abbotsford General Hospital, in an induced coma due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-McIntosh family, *MANDATORY CREDIT*

Dave McIntosh holds his newborn son in the Abbotsford Regional Hospital in this undated photo. Dave McIntosh has been able to hold his newborn son, but his wife Gill has not. Gill, 37, remains in the intensive care unit of the Abbotsford General Hospital, in an induced coma due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-McIntosh family, *MANDATORY CREDIT*

Abbotsford mom with COVID-19 still in coma days after giving birth to baby boy

Gill McIntosh is in stable condition, though she’s still in an induced coma and on a ventilator

Dave McIntosh is in “uncharted territory”: he’s able to hold his newborn son close, but his wife, unconscious in a hospital bed due to complications from COVID-19, cannot.

Gill McIntosh, 37, remains in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Abbotsford, B.C., in an induced coma and on a ventilator after her emergency C-Section.

After starting to feel sick in the first week of November — chalking her symptoms up to pregnancy-related pressure and pain late in her third trimester — she took a turn for the worse, becoming nauseated and unable to eat.

While Dave McIntosh looked after their daughter, the mother-to-be went to the hospital for treatment.

The last communication McIntosh 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.

Days later, Gill McIntosh is in stable condition, though she’s still in an induced coma and on a ventilator.

“This is uncharted territory for me,” Dave McIntosh said. “When Gill and I got married, I knew she was the one. We were going to have a family together. The whole plan has fallen apart here.”

The pair met eight years ago, were married in 2017 and welcomed a daughter to their family a year later.

The abrupt decline in her health, he said, has thrown their lives into turmoil.

“She’s everything to me,” he said. “She’s my wife, she’s my life.”

Hearing his wife would be on a ventilator shocked him, he said, adding he had previously equated the condition with being on life support.

“That’s kind of when it all started sinking in,” Dave McIntosh said, adding that he and his daughter immediately went in to quarantine as a result. Both have since tested negative for COVID-19.

Their son is healthy and remains in hospital for monitoring. Dave McIntosh was able to feed him a bottle on Saturday night and said he hopes to bring the infant home next week.

The support from friends and family has been overwhelming, he said, noting one friend has started an online fundraising campaign that has already exceeded its $50,000 goal.

READ MORE: Baby delivered early while Abbotsford mom is critically ill with COVID-19

Gill McIntosh’s diagnosis has not been traced back to an exposure event, and her husband said the family is unsure how she contracted the virus.

Her hospitalization comes amid rising case numbers and public health restrictions in British Columbia. The province recorded a new single-day record of 617 COVID-19 cases on Friday, the last day for which data was available, bringing the province’s total to 20,985.

Dave McIntosh said his wife’s abrupt decline and the sudden stress on their newly expanded family should serve as a cautionary tale for those who have previously dismissed the threat the virus poses.

“It’s been going on so long that everyone gets a little bit complacent,” he said of the pandemic and the resulting protective measures, noting he and his family followed public health guidance diligently for the sake of the expected baby. “… But now, that clearly hasn’t been enough. Everybody needs to, as much as it sucks, shut everything down right now.”

“It’s time to really start taking this seriously.”

Nick Wells, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is an independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s 1st vaccine-induced blood clot case detected in Interior Health

Interior Health also recorded 52 new cases of COVID-19

(Kamloops This Week file photo)
Probe into TNRD spending taken over by federal police unit

Financial Integrity Sensitive Investigations Unit is now reviewing the case

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Stolen truck found broken down on Highway 97C, Williams Lake suspect arrested near Ashcroft

A security guard first noticed the truck, and thought it looked suspicious

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Former University of British Columbia student Stephanie Hale, 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett
Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan for ‘mishandling’ sexual assault report

Stephanie Hale did not return to campus after the student she alleges attacked her was cleared of wrongdoing

Most Read