Perth woman Gillian Wright, 28, was struck down with a severe case of influenza four weeks before her baby girl was due to be born.
Perth woman Gillian Wright, 28, was struck down with a severe case of influenza four weeks before her baby girl was due to be born.

Woman with flu put in coma to give birth

A HEAVILY pregnant woman defied all odds after she was forced to give birth following a severe case of influenza.

Gillian Wright, 28, wasn't due to give birth to her little girl for four weeks.

However, doctors at Perth's Armadale Hospital had no choice but to put her in an induced coma and perform an emergency C-section after she not only got influenza A but also pneumonia.

The woman's husband Adam Wright was told by doctors to "prepare for the worst" because they didn't think she was going to make it after contracting the flu.

Perth woman Gillian Wright, 28, was struck with influenza and pneumonia while she was heavily pregnant.
Perth woman Gillian Wright, 28, was struck with influenza and pneumonia while she was heavily pregnant.

"I had a meeting with them all and they told me she's not going to make it, and if she did, she'd be very lucky," Mr Wright told news.com.au

"I was absolutely devastated. My whole world was rocked."

But Ms Wright survived and finally got to meet her little girl Kayleigh after nine days in an induced coma.

"Even that time I didn't know if she was going to be OK, only now everything is OK," Mr Wright said.

The mother-of-two said it upset her knowing Kayleigh was laying on her chest as soon as she was born and she wasn't able to remember the moment.

"Everyone asks me if it was weird, but it's not like I had forgotten what was happening," she told Daily Mail Australia.

"I just wasn't aware that the 24 hours had turned into eight days."

Kayleigh was born with influenza and spent her first 10 days on antibiotics in intensive care.

Gillian’s husband Adam was devastated after doctors told him his wife and daughter may not survive.
Gillian’s husband Adam was devastated after doctors told him his wife and daughter may not survive.

COUPLE URGE PREGNANT WOMEN TO GET FLU SHOT

Mr Wright said had the couple known the importance of pregnant women getting the flu shot "none of this would have happened".

"We really want to make people aware, especially pregnant women, how important it is to get vaccinated," Mr Wright said.

"We also wanted everyone to understand the hard work of ICU at Armadale Hospital - they did an excellent job. If we weren't at that hospital, Gillian and Kayleigh probably wouldn't have made it."

Ms Wright's doctor, Dr David New, said she could have "easily lost her life and the baby as well".

He said by removing Kayleigh, Ms Wright's lungs were able to open up a little easier, Yahoo News reported.

Kayleigh was taken off antibiotics when the infection left her system and after close monitoring was discharged from the hospital.

Mr Wright said his daughter, who is now three months old, is "absolutely, 100 per cent perfect" and so is his wife.

"We are a normal family again," he said.

Gillian had an emergency C-section and defied all odds, with she and Kayleigh both surviving.
Gillian had an emergency C-section and defied all odds, with she and Kayleigh both surviving.

IS IT TOO LATE TO GET THE JAB IF YOU'VE ALREADY COPPED THE FLU?

Dr Richard Kidd, chair of the AMA Council of General Practice, told news.com.au anyone who still hadn't had the jab should consider having a shot.

"It's still very important for anyone who hasn't had the flu jab to get it and certainly for those groups of people who got it in the beginning of the season - they should be thinking of getting a second dose," Dr Kidd said.

"Risk groups like young children and pregnant women who may have got a dose last year really need to get this year's to protect them and their baby."

He said the peak flu season was usually between July and September.

"That's when we get the biggest numbers by far - and the worst is yet to come," he warned.

"That's the pattern we see year in, year out."