An Irish woman was given quite the shock when she woke up from coma and found she had a 10-day old baby boy. She is speaking out about her experience for the first time.
Ciara Murray, 33, from Enniskillen in Fermanagh, suffered a stroke when she was 37 weeks pregnant and doctors had to put her in a coma to save her and her unborn child, reports the Irish Independent.
On October 29, 2015, Ciara was feeling ill after breakfast. She went to her bedroom to lie down and collapsed on the floor. She had suffered a massive stroke due to a blood clot on her brain.
Her husband John, 36, a bricklayer, was at work, so Ciara, who was unable to move, lay on the floor drifting in and out of consciousness for seven hours.
"My husband was at work and I couldn't get up at all to get the phone. Every time I tried to pull myself up, I kept slipping down,” says Ciara.
"I couldn't feel the baby at all. I was far more worried about him than myself. I thought I had just fainted.
"I was so frightened. I just had to close my eyes and hoped that the time would go quickly."
When her husband came home at 6:30 pm, she was able to shout out to him for help.
"I was so glad to hear the key in the door," she says.
"I said to him 'Is that you John?' He came in and he tried to lift me."
Her husband telephoned for an ambulance, and Ciara was brought to South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen.
At the hospital she was told that she had suffered a stroke, but fortunately, a scan revealed that the baby was doing fine.
"It was so lucky that he was alright, but they found that I had a clot on my brain and told me I had to be moved to the Royal Victoria Hospital.
"I knew that I was very sick, but John tried to tell me that we'd be fine. That is the last thing I remember."
The next day, doctors performed a three-hour surgery to remove the clot on her brain and also performed a caesarean section.
Her son James arrived on October 30, 2015, healthy and weighing 5lb 5oz.
He was able to leave hospital a few days later, but Ciara,who was placed in an induced coma after the operation, would not wake up for another 10 days.
She said: "They didn't tell me before the surgery that I was going to give birth. I woke up on November 10, which happened to be my husband's 35th birthday. The nurse told me the date and I said 'That's John's birthday.'
"Then she told me that I'd had a baby. I couldn't believe it. John brought him into me and it was just amazing.
"I could hardly move but he just lay there on my chest. He was just a wee tiny bundle but he was perfect.
"I just felt so lucky that he was doing well because I was so worried about him."
Ciara could not leave the hospital due to the intense rehab she was undergoing to help her regain feeling on her left side, so her husband made the three-hour, 160-mile round trip from their home in Co Fermanagh to Belfast every day to make sure they all got to spend time together as a family.
She said: "It was quite a journey for him every day but it was worth it. Luckily, I had no problem bonding with James. I clicked with him and loved him straight away."
Ciara spent a month at the Royal Victoria Hospital. She then moved back to the hospital in Enniskillen for more rehab, but soon had to return to Belfast for the next stage of her treatment.
"After 10 weeks in Enniskillen, I moved to Musgrave Park Hospital in Belfast to the brain injury unit for intense rehab for three months," she said.
"It was hell knowing that I had to leave the baby again."
Ciara was released from the hospital on April 29, 2016. When she returned home, she had to adapt to looking after her six-month-old baby.
She said: "I had to learn to change a nappy with one hand as I couldn't use the other. It was definitely challenging but having to look after him was great motivation to get better and stronger."
She says has had support from a local stroke group to help her to learn to live with the effects of her stroke, which had left her without feeling down the left side of her body.
"Getting out with other young stroke survivors means I can talk about it with people who understand.
"I am still having rehab as well, but it is a long process. I have regained some feeling in my leg, but there's no arm movement yet.
"I am still in a wheelchair, but I can walk a bit round the house with a stick. I'm just working hard every day and I'm determined to get all my mobility back."
Baby James, now 15 months, is doing well and didn’t suffer any impact from the stroke.
"He is completely fine," says Ciara. "He's full of energy and he's ready to walk at the minute. We're both trying to get on our feet at the same time."