This photo captures the moving moment when a loving father first meets his five-week-old son after he was in a coma with Covid on the day his wife gave birth.
Factory worker Andrew Allen, 32, of Bolton, was put into a medically induced coma by doctors on July 28 last year, just hours after his wife Charlotte, 32, gave birth to their son Oliver.
Two weeks later, Andrew woke up in the hospital’s highly addicted ward and saw a photo of his five-year-old daughter Imogen holding Oliver’s baby, but it was another three weeks before he could see him face to face.
Their first meeting took place in the hallway of the hospital when Andrew was transferred to another ward.
This photo captures the moving moment when Andrew first met his five-week-old son Oliver, after he was in a coma with Covid on the day his wife gave birth.
The father of two children, Andrew, pictured leaving the hospital, was put into a medically induced coma by doctors on July 28, just hours after his wife Charlotte gave birth to their son Oliver. Pictured Andrew and wife Charlotte with five-year-old daughter Imogen and newborn baby Oliver
He recalled: ‘That was the first time I met Oliver. It was exceptional. It wasn’t just the fact that I saw my son for the first time, but I also didn’t see my daughter at the time for about three and a half weeks.
“I spend a lot of time with my daughter every day when I’m not at work. So it was very shocking. ‘
Andrew first developed symptoms on July 19, shortly after the first stroke.
Colleague at the aerospace company where he worked was positive and over the next 10 days Andrew lost his sense of smell and started vomiting and diarrhea.
He initially had a negative PCR test and hoped it might be a bug, but soon found out it must be Covid.
He said, ‘After the negative, a day later I lost the smell and taste, so I thought to myself,’ This must be Covid. I don’t know how anything else could be? ‘
Andrew first developed symptoms on July 19, shortly after the first stroke, and his condition eventually worsened to the point that he was placed in an induced coma, missing the birth of a son. Pictured is Andrew with baby Oliver after recovering
On July 27, saleswoman Charlotte went to the hospital to give birth to a child. Andrew, who was strapped to the bed at home, said he only vaguely remembers leaving.
He said: ‘I vaguely remember saying‘ goodbye ’to Charlotte when she went to the hospital, and I remember being very upset because I wasn’t going with her.
“But I was so bad that I kind of fell asleep again and I wasn’t really aware of what was going on.”
The next morning at 5.25 his wife gave birth to their healthy baby boy.
Hours later, Andrew was taken to hospital when his mother became worried about his breathing.
He continued: “My mother came on Wednesday morning. She called an ambulance, and paramedics listened to my breathing over the phone.
Andrew and Oliver’s first meeting (pictured) took place in the hallway of the hospital when Andrew was transferred to another ward
After moving out of the hospital’s high-dependence unit, the friendly staff made sure the couple met in person in the hospital corridor (above)
Andrew is pictured meeting his newborn son with his five-year-old daughter Imogen after being in a medically induced coma for three weeks.
‘I wasn’t breathing properly. My mom described it as a “death rattle”. I was very sick. My oxygen stats were 35, which is obviously very, very low and one of the worst cases they have ever seen.
“I remember trying to tell the rescuers that my son had been born. But I was told over and over again that I had taken off my oxygen mask. ‘
Andrew was ventilated on the day he arrived at the hospital and placed in a medically induced coma.
When he woke up two weeks later, on August 11, he saw a picture of his daughter, 5-year-old Imogen, and child Oliver.
Andrew said he was ‘shaken’ because he missed the birth of his son.
He added: “There was a picture that the nurses put up for me and it was my baby girl holding the baby. That’s when I just remember thinking, “This must be a baby!”
Andrew, Charlotte and their two children are pictured enjoying the holiday season last year after Andrew left the hospital
‘I knew I was going to miss the birth when I got Covid, and I was desperate. I was in and out of consciousness, so I didn’t realize when he was born. But I was disappointed to find out later that I missed it. ‘
For the next three weeks, a disappointed Andrew was observed, separated from his family as he slowly began to recover.
Now that he is full-time and living with his family, Andrew’s breathing has improved since then, but he explained that there is still a long way to go before he reaches full fitness.
He added: “I’m still not close to 100 percent. I think I lost about 25 lbs in about five weeks when I was in the hospital.
‘Now I’m strengthening my muscles and I’m back to full-time work, but at the end of each day I always feel tired.’