Monday 23 September 2019

'He's thriving': the incredible story of the Irishwoman in a coma who gave birth at six months

Dave Hart and Mairead O'Dea
Dave Hart and baby Morgan

Cathal McMahon

An Irish woman has made a miracle recovery after suffering a severe brain haemorrhage while pregnant with her first child.

English language teacher Mairead O'Dea (32), from Co Clare, gave birth to baby Morgan last October while she was on life support in an Intensive Care Unit in Abu Dhabi.

Doctors told her family that she had little hope of survival but incredibly she is now back in Ireland and on “the long road to recovery” while her baby Morgan is “thriving”.

Speaking to, one family member said: “It's unbelievable the whole story. She's extremely lucky, her doctors over there said it was a miracle that she survived.”

Dave Hart and baby Morgan
Dave Hart and baby Morgan

Mairead moved to Abu Dhabi five years ago after earning her TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) cert.

In the Arabic state she met Dave Hart, from New Zealand, and the pair fell in love. They got married in April 2014 and were expecting their first child last October 4, 2015 when Mairead was struck with a severe brain haemorrhage.

Just seven days later, while she was on life-support in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the hospital her waters broke and baby Morgan was born by cesarean section at just 27 weeks.

A family member explained that both were well cared for at separate hospitals  for over four months in Abu Dhabi. However it was decided that in order for Mairead to get the most suitable care and rehabilitation it was best for her to travel home.

And so on January 14, 2016, the young mum arrived back to Ireland where she received “excellent” care at the stroke unit at University Hospital in Limerick.

Last month Mairead, who is originally from Cratloe in South East Clare, was moved to the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) in Dun Laoghaire where she is undergoing an intensive rehabilitation program.

Mairead O'Dea
Mairead O'Dea

A family member explained that her short term memory is very poor; her vision is badly impaired; and she is not walking yet.

Her sister Siobhan O’Gorman told “It’s been a long road. We have been told that she will need 24-hour care once she leaves hospital. We are so grateful to anyone who has helped so far with her medical treatment. We have been overwhelmed with the support."

Baby son Morgan has been discharged from hospital in Abu Dhabi and is making great progress. He remains in the UAE city with his father and paternal grandmother.

Mairead's friends and family said they felt helpless in the situation and have decided to climb Croagh Patrick on June 11 to raise funds for her post rehab care.

The event has already garnered a great response online and 300 people have signed up for the trek, including some of the staff at University Hospital Limerick who helped with her care.

At the moment the young mum is in the public system and the event has been organised to by pals to help with her post rehab care.

It is hoped that everyone taking part will fundraise €100.

You can donate here

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