A woman who was left ‘trapped in her body’ after being diagnosed with a brain tumour gave birth while in a coma. Emma Taylor, from Essex, was heavily pregnant when she was put in an induced coma before going into labour last year, six weeks early.
A couple of days after giving birth to Ophelia through cesarean in October, she underwent an operation to remove her brain tumour. And now, six months on, she remains in a rehab centre where she is still recuperating after the tumour burst, paralysing her.
Speaking about her incredible ordeal, Emma’s partner and Ophelia’s dad, Scott Weeks, said: “Emma was recovering really well in rehab, but due to a lack of beds she’s been moved to a less intense programme.
“She can’t talk yet, but she can communicate with her hands and head movements – she’s shown she’s determined to get better for our daughter.” The 33-year-old collapsed in October after suffering from a headache earlier in the day.
At the time, she was over seven months pregnant, and Scott was terrified he could lose her and their baby. After calling 999, Emma was rushed to the hospital, where she gave birth to Ophelia.
Scans revealed later that the dental hygienist had a non-cancerous brain tumour, likely since she was born. “I knew she hadn’t been feeling well, and while I was downstairs she fell out the bed and was sick on the floor,” Scott said.
“I called an ambulance, but they couldn’t get to us fast enough, so I decided to drive Emma myself. “It’s lucky I did because doctors said if I had waited four hours, there would have been a very different outcome. “They needed to carry out scans on Emma, but to do that safely, they delivered Ophelia first.
“The scans then showed a huge tumour she’d been living with which had burst after pregnancy hormones accelerated its growth “This caused a bleed on the brain, and as a result, her right brain stem and right eye were affected – leaving her left side paralysed.”
After being placed in an induced coma, Emma didn’t wake for three months, and she only began to regain consciousness at the end of January. She has since been transferred to the Northwick Park rehab unit, where she’s been continuing her recovery.
However, a reduction in rehabilitation therapy is slowing Emma’s progress, and Scott is afraid of the effects it could have on her. He has now started a GoFundMe page in a bid to raise some money to help her get private treatment.
“From where the tumour burst, she is pretty much blind in her right eye, and the movement on her left side is expected to be limited to about 75 per cent,” he said. “She’s at the stage where she can communicate with head movements and her hands, we’ve even had a few tears.
“Although NHS staff have been amazing, due to a lack of beds, she will be moved into a lower intensity rehab programme, which I fear will impact her progress. “She’s trapped in her own body – and I know all that she wants is to come home to her baby. “Any donations would mean the world to us.”