This winter a 33-year-old Victorian mum had become so ill, she was unaware she had given birth because she was in a coma. Now, months later, she has woken to learn the happy news.
Cobram mum Sarah Hawthorn had been fighting for life after contracting a horror flu while heavily pregnant. She spent three months in intensive care at Melbourne’s The Alfred hospital.
Hawthorn was not conscious when she gave birth to her baby on August 28 five weeks prematurely.
“It has been a big journey for our family and at this stage, while Sarah is in recovery, we won’t be making any further comment,” Ms Hawthorn’s family said in a statement on Thursday.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of the community, and all the kind wishes we have received.
“(Sarah’s) son is fit and healthy.”
On a GoFundMe page created in September, Ms Hawthorn's family said "her gorgeous boy arrived earlier than planned and following his birth Sarah was, and remains, in a critical condition in an induced coma".
"Her baby boy has never had the chance to lay with his Mum, snuggle into her chest or hear her infectious laugh," the family wrote.
"If nothing less, we hope this raises awareness at the high risk of the flu during pregnancy."
Sarah's husband, Rob, gave their little boy the nickname 'Bomber Hawk' when he was born, but hopes now that Sarah is awake they will be able to name their child.
Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy earlier labelled the 2017 flu season as a "horror" one, which claimed the lives of 121 aged-care residents, as well as eight-year-old Melbourne girl Rosie Brealey and young Bacchus Marsh dad Ben Ihlow.
In September, the state health department said it had confirmed more than 13,000 flu cases.