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

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

The Okanagan Regional Library is holding a pair of online contests for its young readers. (File photo)
Okanagan Regional Library challenges young readers

Pair of contests online aimed at kids aged up to 18

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

Auldin Maxwell stacks the 693rd block on the top of record-breaking Jenga tower on Nov. 29. (Submitted)
Salmon Arm boy rests world-record attempt on single Jenga brick

Auldin Maxwell, 12, is now officially a Guinness world record holder.

The fine for changing lanes or merging over a solid line costs drivers $109 and two penalty points in B.C. (Screenshot via Google Street View)
B.C. drivers caught crossing, merging over solid white lines face hefty fine

Ticket for $109, two penalty points issued under Motor Vehicle Act for crossing solid lines

A registered nurse prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Yukon’s Minister of Community Services, John Streiker, says he’s outraged that a couple from outside the territory travelled to a remote community this week and received doses of COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-POOL
Couple charged after travelling to Yukon to get COVID-19 vaccine

The maximum fine under the emergency measures act is $500, and up to six months in jail

Metis Nation of B.C. President Clara Morin Dal Col poses in this undated handout photo. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Metis Nation of B.C. *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Metis Nation of B.C. suspends president, citing ‘breach’ of policies, procedures

Vice-president Lissa Smith is stepping in to fill the position on an acting basis

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in the in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Payette shouldn’t get same benefits as other ex-governors general: O’Toole

Former governors general are entitled to a pension and also get a regular income paid to them for the rest of their lives

Crystal Johns used her lunch break to film her audition video for the Vancouver Canucks.
VIDEO: Former Vees anthem singer wants to bring her voice to the Canucks

Crystal Johns made her audition tape during a lunch break

Snow covers Main Street in downtown Penticton Monday morning, Jan. 25, 2021.
First snowfall of 2021

Chances of light snow all week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News file)
Two Kelowna flights flagged for COVID-19 onboard

The flights were on Jan. 14 and 18

Most Read