By Douglas Whitbread via SWNS
This adorable photo captures the moment a dad meets his newborn son for the first time - five weeks after falling into a coma with COVID-19 on the day his wife gave birth.
Father-of-two Andrew Allen, 32, had only previously caught a brief glimpse of his son Oliver in a photograph that a nurse had left for him on his sickbed.
But it would be another three weeks before he would physically see his baby boy for the first time.
And an adorable photograph captured the heartwarming moment he laid eyes on his little lad as he was introduced to him in a hospital corridor.
Andrew said: "I was on a high dependency ward, and I was moving down a ward because I was obviously getting better – and the consultant arranged for me to see them on the corridor.
“That was the first time I’d met Oliver.
"It was overwhelming – not just the fact that I’d seen my son for the first time, but I’d not seen my daughter at that point for about three and a half weeks as well.
“I spend pretty much every day that I’m not a work with my daughter. So, it was very overwhelming.”
Andrew from Bolton, England said he started feeling ill on July 19, 2021, after a co-worker tested positive for COVID-19.
The factory worker, who’d only just had his first jab, developed symptoms after a colleague at the aerospace engineering firm where he was employed tested positive.
Over the next ten days, he lost his sense of smell, vomited and had diarrhea, but thought he might only have a winter bug following a negative PCR test.
But he later grew suspicious of the results when his symptoms began to closely resemble those associated with theCOVID-19 Delta variant.
He said: “I lost my smell and taste after having the negative, a day later, so I was thinking in my head: ‘It’s got to be Covid, this. I don’t know how it could be anything else?’”
Andrew’s expectant wife, retail worker Charlotte, 32, went into hospital on July 27, as she prepared to have her baby.
But by that point, the crushed dad already knew he wouldn’t be able to come with her.
He said: “I vaguely remember saying ‘bye’ to Charlotte as she left to go to the hospital, and I remember being quite upset that I wasn’t going with her.
“But I was so poorly that I sort of just fell asleep again – and I wasn’t really aware of what was going on.”
At 5:25 the next morning, his wife gave birth to their healthy baby boy, Oliver.
Andrew was rushed to hospital just a few hours later when worried relatives compared his strangled breathing to a “death rattle.”
He added: “My mum came in on Wednesday morning. She rang for an ambulance, and the paramedics listened to my breathing over the phone.
“I wasn’t breathing properly. My mum described it as like a ‘death rattle.’ I was severely unwell.
“My oxygen stats were at 35, which apparently is very, very low – and one of the worst cases they’ve ever seen.
“I remember trying to tell the paramedics that my son had been born. But I kept getting told off for taking my oxygen mask off.”
Andrew was ventilated and put into a medically induced coma on the day he arrived in hospital.
When he woke up two weeks later, on August 11, he caught sight of a picture of his daughter, Imogen, 5, and baby - his first glimpse of his newborn child.
Andrew said he was “gutted” to miss the special day after he came very “close to dying.”
He added: “There was a picture that the nurses had put up for me – and it was my little girl, and she was holding a baby.
“At the time, I just remember thinking: ‘That must be the baby.
“I knew I would miss the birth when I got Covid, and I was gutted. I was in and out of consciousness, so I wasn’t aware when he was born.
“But I was disappointed when I found out afterwards that I had missed it.
“There was a picture that the nurses had put up for me – and it was my little girl. I recognized her straight away, and she was holding the baby."
For the next three weeks, frustrated Andrew was kept under observation, separated from his family, as he slowly began to recover.
Now back in full-time work, with his family, Andrew’s breathing has since improved, but he explained there’s still a long way to go before he reaches full fitness.
He said: “I’m still nowhere near 100 percent. I think I lost about 25kgs in about five weeks while being in hospital.
“I’m now building my muscle back up, and I’m back at work full time, but at the end of each day, I always feel tired.”
Stories and infographics by ‘Talker Research’ are available to download & ready to use. Stories and videos by ‘Talker News’ are managed by SWNS. To license content for editorial or commercial use and to see the full scope of SWNS content, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or submit an inquiry via our contact form.
What do people lie about on their online dating profiles?
This story version has been formatted as an on-air script for broadcast outlets. See the original research story here. HALF (47%)...
Should the holiday season last longer?
Is there enough time in the holiday season to do everything we want to do?
Meet the man with a knack for kettlebell juggling
"Getting fit and discovering I have a real talent for kettlebell juggling has had such a positive impact on my...
Tortoise celebrates his 190th birthday
Jonathan has lived through two World Wars, watched more than 35 governors of the island come and go and has...
Why this flower with ability to change color may help feed the world
By Mark Waghorn via SWNS A spectacular flower with a unique color-changing ability may hold the key to feeding the...
- Quizzes2 days ago
Take a swipe at our online dating quiz
- Outer Space6 days ago
Wall-E-like robot to provide power on Moon by 2025
- Art6 days ago
Sir Ringo Starr selling life-size statues of his famous Peace and Love hand gesture
- Holidays2 days ago
Should the holiday season last longer?
- Health5 days ago
Top reasons American seniors avoid going to the doctor
- Holidays3 days ago
Stunning photos show 100,000 colorful poinsettias ready for Christmas
- Outer Space4 days ago
NASA grants 3D printing company $57.2 million to build towns on lunar surface
- Outer Space5 days ago
Photos capture the Moon photobombing the Sun