Havant mum-of-five urges pregnant women to get Covid jab after almost losing her life

A MOTHER is urging pregnant women to get vaccinated against Covid after she almost died of the disease during childbirth.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 4:55 am

Louise Read, 35, didn’t get the jab while expecting her fifth child this summer after initial advice had warned against doing so.

But after contracting coronavirus at the end of August her health deteriorated rapidly and she was admitted into St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester at 38 weeks pregnant.

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Louise and Nathan Read with their family. Picture: Mike Cooter (161021) Back row left to right: Kieran, 16, and Riley, 10. Front row left to right: George, 6, Bethany, 16, Nathan, 34, with baby Ollie and Louise, 35.

Doctors had to make the decision to put her under general anaesthetic and remove the baby by caesarean section.

At the time Louise’s husband Nathan was told to ‘come and say goodbye’ to her in case she didn’t survive.

Louise said: ‘I was thinking I can’t breathe. I was just worried about the baby. I didn’t think I was going to make it but I just thought if they can save the baby.

‘Afterwards I swear I saw my two nans at the end of my bed and I thought that was the end.’

Louise Read Picture: Mike Cooter (161021)

Luckily, baby Ollie was born healthy, without Covid. But Louise was placed into a medically induced coma.

Nathan, 34, said: ‘They told me to come down and say goodbye to her as I might never see her again. I got told to wait outside for the baby.

‘I was never told to wait for Lousie, I was under the impression I was never going to see her again.

‘An hour and a half later the baby arrived and they had no news on Louise. Then I found out she have been induced into a coma. She was fighting for her life on a ventilator.

Louise Read from Havant contracted Covid while pregnant with her fifth child Ollie. She had to have an emergency Caesarean at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester and be put into an induced coma after problems during the birth. Submitted October 2021

‘After 24 hours the doctor came to me and I thought the worst.’

Thankfully Louise had woken up at this point - the doctor had come to ask for Nathan’s phone to show Louise pictures of her new son.

After a week in intensive care she was released to come home but she was wheelchair bound and on oxygen.

Now, Louise, of Finchdean Road, Havant is managing without a wheelchair - except for if she goes out - and the oxygen.

Louise Read from Havant contracted Covid while pregnant with her fifth child Ollie. She had to have an emergency Caesarean at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester and be put into an induced coma after problems during the birth. Submitted October 2021

Her wound from the C-section hasn’t properly healed yet because of the stress Covid put on her body.

As well as Ollie, she is already mum to Kieran and Bethany, both 16, and Riley, 10, and George, six.

She added: ‘I wasn’t offered the jab until five weeks before the due date because before then they weren’t sure how it would affect the baby. So I thought there’s not much point now because I’m close to having the baby.

‘I don’t think people are taking it seriously. I’ve heard people saying Covid isn’t real. Well it is real. Everyone’s got their own opinions but I would say get the jab, even if you only get one because it could really help you.’

It comes as NHS England figures showed almost a fifth of the most critically ill coronavirus patients in recent months were unvaccinated pregnant women.

Louise Read from Havant contracted Covid while pregnant with her fifth child Ollie. She had to have an emergency Caesarean at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester and be put into an induced coma after problems during the birth. Submitted October 2021

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