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

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
41 positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Cases have gone up in Northern Health in the past week, as they have all over B.C. (K-J Millar/Black Press Media)
Northern Health reports new highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

Nineteen cases were reported to Public Health last Tuesday (Nov. 17)

FILE – British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C.

Many retailers and businesses had voiced their frustration with a lack of mask mandate before

(Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared Thursday.
COVID-19 outbreak at LNG Canada Project site

14 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 at this time

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Most Read