Mum’s warning after flu ordeal that led to 3 months premature birth of her son
A PREGNANT woman had her baby son delivered three months early after doctors found that what she thought was a severe chest infection was in fact swine flu.
Viki Allin, 35, fell ill in November last year and was diagnosed with pleurisy, a lung inflammation, in December.
But at Christmas the five-months-pregnant schoolteacher, from West Buckland, near Barnstaple, Devon, had to be admitted to hospital after her condition deteriorated while visiting family in Abergavenny, South Wales.
Doctors at the town's Nevill Hall Hospital diagnosed swine flu and she was rushed to a specialist unit at Cardiff University Hospital, where she was put in an induced coma for a week to help her recover.
Her son, Henry, was born on January 22, weighing just 2lb 11oz but she had no access to him for several weeks because they both needed medical treatment.
He was in intensive care for three months and Mrs Allin, who is married to fellow teacher Chris, 38, and has an older son Harrison, was in hospital until he was four months old.
She is now urging pregnant women to have their flu vaccination, revealing that she did not have hers after hearing conflicting opinions over whether it was safe for expectant mothers.
She told the North Devon Journal: "When I did meet Henry, the bond wasn't there at all, and it has taken nearly a year to deal with it. It's quite bizarre - you feel like you want the bond to be there but it is not.
"He was intensive care for three months because he was so early and for the first four months of his life I didn't see him at all because I was so ill.
"Henry is fine now and I'm lucky really, but this has totally taken over my life in this last year."
Mr Allin, head of history at the private West Buckland School, told the newspaper: "The doctors did say there was a high chance she or our son Henry might not survive, but I just tried to think positive and get through it.
"Luckily she is a very determined person and she fought it."