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

The old home at 785 Island Rd. is coming down as the developer was unable to find a feasible business case to save it. (Black Press Media File Photo)
With no takers to move old Oak Bay home, teardown begins

‘We tried a last hurrah,’ developer says

Leah Davis, store manager at Oscar & Libby’s in downtown Victoria, sets out stock at their Fort Street location. The pandemic has changed the way this retailer and others do business, says owner Teri Hustins. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Pandemic alters holiday business strategies for Victoria merchants

Many independent merchants count on holiday shopping to get them through quiet periods

Goldstream Food Bank vice-president Walter Dubeau is happy to help others by volunteering at the food bank’s Christmas hamper program. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
Goldstream Food Bank Christmas Hamper program in full swing

Gratitude evident as hamper helpers happily give back

The Vancouver Island Crisis Society has seen a five per cent rise in call volumes compared to this time last year. (Black Press Media file photo)
Winter blues a concern for Vancouver Islanders during COVID-19 Christmas season

Statistics show British Columbians anticipate worsening mental health

Jason Soukochoff is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, say Victoria police. (Courtesy VicPD)
Victoria police seek man with violent criminal history against elderly

Jason Soukochoff wanted on Canada-wide warrant for parole violations

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (Tracy Holmes photo)
B.C. woman calls for consistency in COVID-19 post-test messaging

‘Could we just get one thing straight?’ asks Surrey’s Deb Antifaev

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

An excavator was stolen from a rural property south of Nanaimo this month, say police. (Photos submitted)
Excavator stolen from property south of Nanaimo

Bobcat Mini believed to have been stolen between Nov. 12-14, say RCMP

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

Most Read