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

RCMP don’t want to see you having your vehicle towed away after an aggressive driving infraction. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP hand out more than 500 tickets in aggressive driving crackdown

Police say they’ll continue to focus on speeding, aggressive and distracted driving

Home sales for November in the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board were profitable for sellers because of historically low supply. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)
Historically low supply leads to higher prices in Chilliwack real estate market

City dwellers want to relocate to the eastern Fraser Valley and are willing to pay a high price

Prolific offender Jonathan David Olson (left) and Brodie Tyrel Robinson, both of Chilliwack, were convicted of several offences in BC Supreme Court in August 2019 in connection to a crime spree on the Canada Day long weekend in 2017.
Dangerous offender designation off the table for Chilliwack gangster

Jonathan Olson found guilty in connection with 2017 crime spree now facing 14 years maximum

Wilma’s Transition Society is having a Christmas Car Give-away. (Wilma’s)
Someone in Chilliwack is set to win a car in a Christmas Give-Away

Fill out an application online with Wilma’s Transition Society until Dec. 14

Protestors with an “End The Lockdown$” sign at Science World in Vancouver on May 3, 2020. (Desire Amouzou photo)
OPINION: On individual rights versus community health

Using freedom as an excuse to gather in this pandemic illustrates a staggering degree of selfishness

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Cops converge in a Marshall Road parking lot on Thursday afternoon following a reported police incident. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Federal offender escapes, gets shot at and is taken back into custody in Abbotsford

Several branches of law enforcement find escapee a short distance from where he fled

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Lefeuvre Road, near Myrtle Avenue, was blocked to traffic on Thursday (Dec. 3) after an abandoned pickup truck was found on fire. Police are investigating to determine if there are any links to a killing an hour earlier in Surrey. (Shane MacKichan photo)
Torched truck found in Abbotsford an hour after killing in Surrey

Police still investigating to determine if incidents are linked

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Surrey Pretrial centre in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey Pretrial hit with human rights complaint over mattress

The inmate who lodged the complaint said he needed a second mattress to help him manage his arthritis

Most Read