Chelsie King with husband Patrick and son Raphael. (Credit: SWNS)
A woman has been forced to give birth in a medically induced coma after she took the decision to refuse the Covid-19 vaccine.
Chelsie King, 27, has urged other pregnant women to get their vaccinations after she delayed her decision to get the jab over fears of side effects for expecting mothers.
She had been placed into a medically-induced coma at six month pregnant after she contracted the virus.
‘We could have both died’
Chelsie, from Weston-super-Mare, spoke of her fight to deliver her son, Raphael.
Raphael was was born prematurely via a C-section while she remained in a coma, with Chelsie not meeting her newborn son until he was six weeks old.
She said: “I do regret not having the jab when it was offered and wonder if I did have it, whether things would have been different.
“I wouldn’t want any other family going through what we have - the truth of the matter is that we could have both died.”
Chelsie had no idea she was infected
Chelsie and her husband, Patrick, found out that they were expecting their son in January 2021, however Cheslie took the decision to not get vaccinated from Covid-19 over fears of unknown side effects for pregnant women.
She tested positive for the virus in July 2021, initially not considering that she had been infected due to a lack of symptoms.
Cheslie had not lost her sense of taste or smell, and had only noticed nausea, which she had been experiencing during her entire pregnancy.
She said: “They told me that it was becoming more evident that continuing sickness in pregnant women was a symptom of covid.
“I hadn’t eaten in a week, we were so worried about the baby. My oxygen levels were dropping rapidly.
“Thankfully the baby was ok but I was very poorly and I got transferred straight to the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI).”
The expectant mother was then placed into a medically-induced coma as a result of rapidly dropping oxygen levels.
Her son was born three months prematurely, weighing 2lb 4oz and immediately transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St Michael’s Hospital.
Patrick was also not able to visit Chelsie at this time as he had also tested positive for Covid-19.
Doctors were unable to wake Cheslie
Cheslie remained in her coma for five more weeks, with doctors fighting to wake her up, but her body kept picking up infections.
In order to wake her up, she underwent extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, which includes her blood being taken out of her body, re-oxygenated and pumped back in.
She woke up 15 days later after being transferred to St Thomas’s Hospital in London and communicated with family via a whiteboard.
Cheslie was then transferred back to Bristol Royal Infirmary.
She said: “The last thing I can remember from before the coma was watching the Euro football finals on my phone from my ITU bed.
“When I woke up I knew I was in London because the medical team had been telling me while I was in the coma.
“But no one told me how long I had been there and how long it was since I had Raphael.
“On the first call with my grandma and grandad and Patrick they told me Raphael was five weeks old. I was so shocked.
“He was six weeks old when I first got to hold him. They placed him on my chest. It was so wonderful to be able to see him and smell him for the first time.”
‘It’s important to get the message out to mums-to-be’
Chelsie and her husband Patrick brought Raphael home from the hospital on 14 September, five days after Cheslie was discharged.
She said: “It’s important to get the message out to mums to-be to make sure they get vaccinated. The risks of not being jabbed are far more than having the vaccination itself.
“I am one of the lucky ones. I got to cuddle my baby. But there are some mothers who will never have that joy. All because they didn’t have a simple vaccine.”
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