Comatose mom with severe H1N1 on the mend: fiance


By Deborah Tetley, Heather Yourex and David Wylie, Calgary Herald, Canwest News ServiceNovember 12, 2009


Rob Pearce holds a photo of himself and his fiancee Jaclyn Bates in Calgary, Alberta Wednesday, November 11, 2009. Jaclyn Bates had been in a medically induced coma after contracting the H1N1.


Rob Pearce holds a photo of himself and his fiancee Jaclyn Bates in Calgary, Alberta Wednesday, November 11, 2009. Jaclyn Bates had been in a medically induced coma after contracting the H1N1.
Photograph by: Stuart Gradon, Calgary Herald

CALGARY One week after complete respiratory failure prompted doctors to put Jaclyn Bates, 27, into a medically induced coma while she battled the H1N1 flu, the Calgary mother of two young children appears to be slowly recovering.

"She's improving," Rob Pearce, Bates' fiance, said Thursday. "That's the most important thing. Hopefully she does wake up by tomorrow (Friday).

"She hasn't woken up yet. They had to put her back on sedatives Wednesday night . . . she was agitated."

Pearce, who just days ago was told by health officials to prepare for the chance Bates might die, called her condition a miracle.

"It's going to be a slow recovery so they are telling me to be patient."

The fast deterioration of the Calgary mother was shocking, said Pearce.

"She's the epitome of health," he said. "She just went from being perfectly healthy to ridiculously sick in a very short period of time and the doctors aren't even sure why."

Pearce said doctors at Rockyview General Hospital put Bates in an induced coma on Nov. 4 because she couldn't breathe on her own and doctors wanted to control her lung functions. "She had complete respiratory failure."

Bates has slowly improved while in the coma and is starting to breathe on her own again, but remains on a ventilator.

Citing privacy laws, a spokesman for Alberta Health Services said he couldn't comment on the case.

Though rare, other Canadians have also been put into medically induced comas after being diagnosed with H1N1. Cases include a Nanaimo, B.C., man, 41, who was placed in an induced coma after his kidneys shut down, and a Montreal woman, 23, who died after being put into an induced coma after giving birth to a son in June.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has reported 161 H1N1 deaths nationally.
Copyright (c) Canwest News Service

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