Sarah Hawthorn has given birth to “the most perfect little baby boy,” but instead of enjoying her new arrival she’s fighting for her life.
The 33-year-old, who hails from Cobram in Victoria's far north, fell victim to the flu epidemic sweeping the country in the late stages of her pregnancy. She was rushed to Wangaratta hospital on August 28, where her baby had to be delivered five weeks premature during an emergency birth.
Sarah remains in a critical condition and in an induced coma, completely unaware of the miracle she’s welcomed into the world -- ‘Bomber Hawke,’ who won’t be named until his mum wakes up.
Her family have established a GoFundMe fundraising page to help raise $20,000 to support her family and pay medical and rehabilitation costs.
"Sarah remains in an induced coma, fighting for her life, unaware that she has given birth to the most perfect little baby boy," her sister-in-law Rachael Holt posted on the fundraising website.
"As you can imagine the cost of living 270 kilometres away from home, maintaining a bedside vigil by your wife in ICU and also caring for a newborn is quickly taking its toll.”
"At present she is fully machine-supported and literally fighting for her life. The joy of the arrival of her precious baby...tinged with sadness as we continue to hope and pray for the best possible outcome."
"Her baby boy has never had the chance to lay with his mum, snuggle into her chest or hear her infectious laugh."
She added: "The funds raised will be used to help pay for travel and accommodation, living expenses and ongoing medical expenses as Sarah will have a long rehabilitation once she makes it through."
Tragically, Sarah’s family claim she spent eight days seeking medical help only to be sent home several times.
WATCH: Sarah is unaware she's given birth to her baby boy. Post continues...
Earlier this week, the Victorian Health Department revealed that an eight-year-old girl from Melbourne had died from the flu in what has been one of the worst flu seasons in Australian history.
The little girl has been named as Rosie Andersen, who passed away at the Angliss Hospital at Upper Ferntree Gully on Friday.
Her father, Christian Brealey, gave a heartbreaking statement to The Herald Sun following his daughter's death.
"We are devastated by the loss of our beautiful, loving little angel," Mr Brealey said.
"Words cannot describe the depths of our grief. We want to thank our friends and family and the broader community for all the messages of love and compassion. We are so grateful for your support."
He then gave an impassioned plea to other parents:
"We urge everyone to get their kids immunised against the flu and ask only that our privacy is respected and our family given time and space to grieve."
Rosie's death is one of 10 caused by the flu in just over a month.
If you think you have the flu, or want more information on the flu and flu vaccinations, contact your trusted GP.