A man from Manchester has told Sky News about how he couldn’t see his partner for five weeks after she was given an emergency caesarean and put in an induced coma while suffering from coronavirus.
Craig Thomas, 30, tested positive for COVID-19 in early October and it was not long before Lura Savage was also displaying symptoms.
Ms Savage, 29, was 30 weeks pregnant at the time and started to worry about the health of her baby.
Mr Thomas took her to Tameside Hospital on 19 October for what they thought would be a routine scan but then did not see her again until two days ago – over five weeks later.
Ms Savage tested positive for coronavirus at the hospital and was admitted for monitoring as she had developed a bad cough. A week later things took a turn for the worse and Mr Thomas received a phone call to say the baby was in distress.
On 28 October baby Finley was born, weighing 4lbs and was taken straight to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) where neither of his parents could be with him.
Shortly after his birth, Finley also tested positive for COVID-19 – becoming the first baby at Tameside to contract the virus.
During this time, Mr Thomas was unable to visit either of his family members and told Sky News he would not have coped without support from his friends and family.
“I was thinking ‘why couldn’t it have been me? I’ve caused this’.” He is an electrician but has no idea how he caught the virus.
Unfortunately Ms Savage’s condition deteriorated further and a few days later she was put on 100% oxygen and into an induced coma where she remained for 10 days.
“The two people I cared about most were both in intensive care,” Mr Thomas said.
When Finley was nine days old and he and Mr Thomas had both tested negative they were able to meet for the first time.
He said he was so nervous about seeing him or making him ill that he sat in the hospital car park for half an hour before going in.
“He was so small, with all of these wires. It was scary but he was doing alright.”
He said the staff were “brilliant” and he could have phoned 100 times a day and it would not have mattered.
The nurses in NICU kept a ‘baby diary’ so he could see how Finley was doing every day.
Finley was able to go home when he was 19 days old but it was a few more weeks before Ms Savage would finally be discharged.
After 10 days in a coma, she was taken to theatre where she was given a breathing tube and brought back to consciousness.
This was the first time Mr Thomas was able to FaceTime her and reassure her that their baby was OK.
Finally, last week Ms Savage’s tube was removed and she left intensive care to a Guard of Honour from Tameside’s clapping staff.
The moment was made even more poignant by the fact that Ms Savage is actually a healthcare worker at the hospital.
After a few days on a ward, on 30 November Mr Thomas received a phone call saying she could finally come home.
The family are now settling into life back at home and Mr Thomas said his partner is “full of beans and won’t put Finley down”.
In a Facebook post Mr Thomas wrote: “I’m so proud of her for what she has done to fight this horrible disease and love her so much, also I can’t thank all my family and friends enough for what you have done for us these last few months I’m lost for words I love you all.”
Ms Savage’s recovery isn’t complete yet but the family are looking forward to a quiet, happy Christmas together.