It’s not every day a baby is born here at Liverpool University Hospitals – but earlier this year our incredible staff at #TeamLUHFT helped to deliver a baby boy in the Royal Liverpool University Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
28-year-old Sophie Byrne was fighting for her life after contracting COVID-19 while she was pregnant. Her baby boy, Joseph, had to be delivered by caesarean 11 weeks early when the mum-of-three was placed in a coma after her condition deteriorated.
Working with a team from the Liverpool Women's Hospital, ICU staff helped to deliver Joseph – who weighed just 3lb 2oz. After seven weeks in a coma, Sophie’s health began to improve, and she was brought out of sedation to find out the wonderful news that she had given birth to a healthy baby boy.
Speaking to the Liverpool ECHO, Sophie said: "Staff at the Royal informed my family that I might not survive the delivery because I was so weak. Joseph's dad was able come in and see me but not my parents due to the risk of COVID-19. I got to hold Joseph for the first time on October 4. I had only saw him for the first time in September through FaceTime. But I was heavily sedated and can't remember a thing about that day."
Sophie is now continuing to recover from the virus at home, having contracted pneumonia as a complication of her illness. She said: "I had to learn to walk again because I had been in bed for so long. And I had to learn to eat again after undergoing a tracheotomy. It's been hard and there is a long road ahead."
Sophie now wants to raise awareness of the seriousness of contracting COVID-19 and the need to get vaccinated: "COVID-19 nearly killed me and I had no underlying health conditions. I was not vaccinated but that was because I was pregnant. I am now due to be vaccinated soon and can't wait. People need to take this seriously. I did not doubt COVID-19 existed but did not fully appreciate how devastating it could be."
Thanking staff at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Sophie said: "Thank you to the staff for saving my life and delivering Joseph. Christmas this year will mean more to me than any other Christmas. At one point I didn’t think I would see it with how poorly I was.
“But thanks to the amazing staff on ICU and HDU they made my wish come true. I have my amazing miracle baby Joseph to make it even more special for my family.”
Sophie is now supporting the Liverpool University Hospital Charity's Christmas Appeal to raise money to purchase Christmas gifts for patients who will wake up in our hospitals on Christmas Day.
To find out more about the appeal and how to donate, visit the Christmas Appeal 2021 JustGiving page.