Mater patient in ICU with Covid didn’t meet newborn baby for 5 weeks

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A patient in the Mater who was taken into ICU with Covid while pregnant, didn’t get to meet newborn baby for five weeks.

Carol Walsh caught Covid-19 when she was 34 weeks pregnant, and she became so unwell that the hospital had to deliver her baby early.

Carol’s baby was delivered six weeks early and the mum spent 64 days in ICU.

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She told Dublin Live: “I hadn’t met Lucy when she was born because I was asleep during the emergency section. She was born six weeks early. I didn’t meet her until she was five weeks old.

“When I met her I was so weak and I could barely hold her. I hadn’t the strength, all my muscles died.

“Now, my baby is like my physio. She can get me up all the time, it’s the little things people don’t realise like making her bottles or hanging her bibs out to dry.”

Carol has no memory of the ambulance ride to the Mater. She says when she woke up in the hospital she was so confused she thought she was on a cruise ship.

The mum-of-three says the nurses used to come into the room when she was unconscious and talk about her baby in the hopes that she’d hear.

She continued: “When I was awake I’d listen to the nurses talking around me so I could try and piece together bits of information about my condition. I was thinking, ‘my God, am I this sick?’

“What I do remember is the care I received in the Mater. Not just from my doctor who came up with the best care plan that ended up saving my life, but the nurses, the gentleness of care each and every one of them showed me, that helped bring me back to life.

“It was scary when I woke up because there were tubes everywhere. I’d a thing around my neck and I thought it was broken. I was so confused,” Carol explained.

“I’d a tracheostomy fitted so my voice was completely cut off for a couple of weeks so I was retrained to talk again.

“They were worried I could never speak again.”

When she eventually started to improve, the nurses did anything and everything to make her feel at home.

Carol said: “I used to tell the nurses I’d love to be in a spa so they’d pretend we were and they’d do everything from massages and the whole lot. Anything extra to make sure I was comfortable.”

Carol made a miraculous recovery and now her family are raising funds to give something back to the Wexford ICU and the Mater.

She said: ”My husband is in the army and he did a 42km run in his army gear to raise money

“It was very touch and go for a long, long time. We’re so grateful that I got to come home with my baby to the family.

“So far we’ve raised €14,025, it’s just so lovely to give something back. My heart goes out to them, they did everything they could for me.”

To donate to help more patients like Carol, click here.

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