Sarah Hawthorn was getting ready for the birth of her child. But the big moment came without her ever having the chance to see her baby.


As The Age reports, the 33-year-old mom from Cobram, Australia, was well into her pregnancy when she started feeling ill. Though generally in good health, Sarah didn’t want to take any chances and went to the doctor.

According to Australian newspaper The Courier, Sarah’s sister-in-law, Rachel Holt, wrote a letter explaining how careful Sarah was during her pregnancy:

She took every vitamin under the sun and did everything by the book during her pregnancy.

According to her family, when her illness got progressively worse, Sarah tried to get treatment for more than a week. She even went to a local hospital but was sent home with instructions to rest and see her general practitioner.

Though it was “only” influenza, Sarah became critically ill and was eventually hospitalized and put in an induced coma. She was still unconscious when her son was delivered— via C-section— five weeks premature.

Now, Sarah continues to cling to life. She is in critical condition in a hospital hundreds of miles from her home. She has developed a number of complications from the flu, including pneumonia.

Her husband, Robert, spends his days by his wife’s bedside and caring for his newborn son. According to The Age, the GoFundMe page set up to help the family originally declared:

Sarah remains in an induced coma, fighting for her life, unaware that she has given birth to the most perfect little baby boy. […] 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.

In addition to the fundraising effort to help Sarah and her family, there is also a website dedicated to sending messages of support to her loved ones.

Sarah’s baby boy remains unnamed. Holt says they are calling the newborn “Bomber Hawk” until Sarah comes out of her coma and can name him.

As Holt originally wrote on the fundraising page, the family prays it won’t be long before this new mom meets her son for the first time:

“Her baby boy has never had the chance to lay with his mum, snuggle into her chest or hear her infectious laugh.”

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