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Pregnant mum-to-be woke from Covid coma to find she’d given birth to baby girl

Jacob Scott

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Laura Ward awoke to find her baby daughter, Hope, lying next to her on the hospital bed having been in a Covid coma for seven weeks

Laura Ward awoke from a Covid coma to find her baby daughter lying next to her ( Image: MEN Media)

A teaching assistant who went into a Covid coma woke up to discover she had given birth.

Laura Ward last remembered being wheeled back onto the Covid ward before seven weeks passed and she woke up to find her little girl, Hope, lying next to her on the hospital bed.

The mum had nodded to doctors to give consent to deliver Hope after medics told her they might have to deliver the baby early, although Laura said she has no recollection of that whatsoever, reports the Manchester Evening News.

“I opened my eyes to see Hope on the bed with me, but I couldn’t move any part of my body,” said the 33-year-old. “All I could do was shake and nod my head.”

Laura first feared she might have the virus when she had a “bit of a cough” when she finished school for the summer holidays. But she thought she was OK when a lateral flow test came back negative.

Yet her condition did not improve so she decided to take a PCR test which came back positive. Following the guidance to isolate, she was struggling to breathe and after calling 111 for advice she was advised to go to hospital.

Hope weighed 3lbs 7oz when she was born
( Image: MEN Media)

Laura continued to deteriorate whilst in hospital and doctors sent her to the maternity ward to make sure the baby was OK. It was here she was told by medics that they may have to deliver her baby early.

Her condition worsened to the point where she had to be sedated for an emergency C-section at 31 weeks, more than two months before her due date.

Laura’s partner John Leece was called to the hospital but, due to Covid restrictions, was not allowed into the theatre.

Hope was born weighing a tiny 3lb 7oz, and despite spending five weeks on the neonatal unit, she’s now fit and healthy and a thriving 10lb 7oz.

Yet Laura would not be able to speak to her little girl for another two weeks having had a tracheostomy and feeding tubes fitted.

Laura said her husband, John, has been ‘amazing’
( Image: MEN Media)

“I was just lying in bed at first and not able to move at all,” she said. “I tried really hard to lift my arms but I just couldn’t.

“It was frustrating because I couldn’t speak, but because I couldn’t move my arms or hands, I wasn’t able to write anything down that I wanted to say either.

“I had to learn to feed myself, brush my teeth, all the things you learn as a toddler, it’s like learning everything all over again.”

The muscles in her legs had deteriorated over the weeks and it was only at the beginning of this month when she managed to walk again – firstly making her way down the hospital corridor with a frame and then holding the hand of her three-year-old son, William.

It’s those lost weeks with him and Hope that Laura is most looking forward to catching up on when she’s finally allowed home on Monday.

Laura only started walking again at the start of December
( Image: MEN Media)

John, 37, who works for the firm PSI cleaning extractor fans at schools and offices, was among the family and friends who would regularly chat via FaceTime to Laura while she was in the coma, not knowing whether she could hear them or not.

He didn’t want to name their baby – referring to her only as ‘baby girl’ until they could both agree on a name – and has kept a scrapbook of things the children have done while their mum has been in hospital.

“He’s [John] been amazing, he really has,” said Laura. “He’s been coming to see me every day with Hope and he’s been bringing William when he can and our children Lexi and Josh, who stay with us a lot when they’re not at their mum’s.

“They wanted to get that bond between me and Hope so she’s been lots, but with William we wanted to try to keep him in his routine as much as we could.

“William first came to see me on his third birthday in October and I got really emotional as I’d not seen him since July.

“I’ve missed his first day at nursery and I’ve missed Hope’s first weeks – her first bath and that kind of thing. John keeps telling me I’ve not missed much as all she does is sleep, poo and drink milk, but I can’t wait to get home.”

Laura ‘can’t wait’ to get home
( Image: MEN Media)

After her initial treatment at the Royal Bolton Hospital, Laura was sent to Wythenshawe Hospital, where she spent 35 days of her coma on an ECMO machine – the highest level of life support – and with her “lungs absolutely gone”, her family – including parents Lynn and Bill – were told it was “the last resort”.

“My family were obviously panicking,” she said. “The doctors and nurses clearly thought it’s not looking good.

“John has managed to keep everyone upbeat about it though. He was telling them ‘she’s not giving up and neither are we’ and ‘let’s keep positive, we’re not going to lose her, she’s going to be fine’.”

After five weeks, Laura returned to Bolton’s intensive care unit where she eventually came out of her coma.

She’s since been rehabilitating with intense physiotherapy and occupational therapy, with the goal of returning home for Christmas.

Laura has been having intense physiotherapy and hopes to be home for Christmas
( Image: MEN Media)

Laura said: “I’m getting stronger every day and the nurse has said she hasn’t seen anyone make as much progress in such a short amount of time.

“I think it’s helped to have that goal of getting home for Christmas and also to get home to my kids. I’ve missed them all so much.”

As well as thanking the staff at the hospitals she’s been treated at, Laura, who hopes to return to her job at the primary school when William starts there in September, wants to thank her family, including parents Lynn and Bill, cousin Kirstie Atkinson and friend Emma Chatwood for all their support.

Laura, who had no underlying health conditions other than gestational diabetes, didn’t have the Covid vaccination earlier in her pregnancy as initially it wasn’t recommended for pregnant women. By the time she was offered it, it was too late.

After her ordeal, she says she’d recommend the jab to any pregnant women.

“I’d say just get it,” she said. “I wouldn’t wish what’s happened to me on anyone and it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

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‘Moon Knight’ Took Marvel in a Different Orbit, but It Didn’t Rise to the Occasion

Jacob Scott

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Before anyone writes that off as an anomaly, “Eternals” tackled a similar introduction of a dense mythology on the bigger screen, with equally mixed results. It’s a reminder that while film-goers have had more than a decade to get to know characters like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, introducing some of these lesser-known heroes can pose a more formidable challenge beyond catering to the most ardent fans.
For Marvel, there are warning signs in that, since “Moon Knight” will be followed by several series based on second-tier characters, although the next two on the horizon, “Ms. Marvel” (which is due in June) and “She-Hulk,” at least have the benefit of sharing franchises and name recognition with existing Avengers.
Ultimately, “Moon Knight’s” murky storytelling appeared to squander its principal assets, which included the cool look of the character — a costume that was too seldom used — and the presence of Isaac, who possesses additional genre credentials via the “Star Wars” sequels.

Taking its time in peeling back the layers of the character’s complicated backstory, “Moon Knight” took a weird plunge into the Egyptian mythology behind it, in ways that became increasingly confounding and surreal.

By the time the protagonist’s two halves, Steven Grant and Marc Spector, wound up in a psychiatric hospital talking to an anthropomorphic hippo in the penultimate chapter, the question wasn’t so much being able to keep up with the story as whether bothering to do so was worth the effort.

The sixth and final episode brought the plot to a messy close, seeking to stop the goddess Ammit from proceeding to “purify the souls of Cairo, and then the world.” In the customary credit sequence, the producers capped that off by introducing a third personality, Jake Lockley, also rooted in the comics. While that seemingly spelled the end for the show’s villain (Ethan Hawke), the finish — giving the god Khonshu the protégé he sought — paved the way for further adventures should Marvel so choose.

That last twist might be cause for celebration in narrower confines of the Marvel fan universe, but “Moon Knight” too often felt like it was one long Easter-egg sequence, conspicuously preaching to that choir.

Granted, Marvel has made clear that Disney+ offers the chance to explore different kinds of stories, but “Moon Knight” feels at best like a quirky showcase for Isaac and at worst a failed experiment in terms of execution and tone.

That doesn’t mean this “Moon” won’t somehow rise again, if the closely held streaming data justifies it. But the promise that surrounded this property has faded, providing further evidence that even Marvel isn’t immune from setbacks as it moves into its next phase.

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Start-up Pony.ai says it’s the first self-driving company to get a taxi license in China

Jacob Scott

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Autonomous driving start-up Pony.ai can collect fares for robotaxi rides in parts of two major Chinese cities as of Sunday.

Pony.ai handout

BEIJING — Self-driving start-up Pony.ai announced Sunday it received a taxi license, the first of its kind in China.

The license allows Pony.ai to operate 100 self-driving cars as traditional taxis in the Nansha district of the southern city of Guangzhou, the company said.

The Chinese start-up, which is backed by Toyota, received approval from Beijing city late last year to charge fees to operate a commercial robotaxi business in a suburban district of the city. It is not the same as a taxi licence.

Baidu’s Apollo Go also received approval in the same Beijing district last year.

Pony.ai was valued at $8.5 billion in early March. The company said its Nansha taxi license required 24 months of autonomous driving testing in China and/or other countries, and no involvement in any active liability traffic accidents, among other factors.

The start-up said it plans to launch commercial robotaxi businesses in two other large Chinese cities next year. The company is already testing self-driving cars in those cities and in California. 

Robotaxis in China currently have a human driver present for safety.

— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.

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How to watch Timberwolves vs. Grizzlies: TV channel, NBA live stream info, start time

Jacob Scott

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Who’s Playing

Memphis @ Minnesota

Current Records: Memphis 2-1; Minnesota 1-2

What to Know

The Memphis Grizzlies’ road trip will continue as they head to Target Center at 10 p.m. ET this past Saturday to face off against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Memphis will be strutting in after a win while Minnesota will be stumbling in from a loss.

The Grizzlies are hoping for another victory. They beat the Timberwolves 104-95 this past Thursday. The victory came about thanks to a strong surge after the first quarter to overcome a 39-21 deficit. Memphis’ success was spearheaded by the efforts of power forward Brandon Clarke, who had 20 points in addition to eight rebounds, and shooting guard Desmond Bane, who shot 7-for-15 from beyond the arc and finished with 26 points and six boards.

Barring any buzzer beaters, Memphis is expected to win a tight contest. They might be worth taking a chance on against the spread as they are currently on a two-game streak of ATS wins.

Memphis’ win brought them up to 2-1 while the Timberwolves’ defeat pulled them down to a reciprocal 1-2. A couple offensive stats to keep in the back of your head while watching: The Grizzlies come into the game boasting the second most points per game in the league at 115.6. But Minnesota is even better: they rank first in the league when it comes to points per game, with 115.9 on average. Tune in for what’s sure to be a high-scoring contest.

How To Watch

When: Saturday at 10 p.m. ET Where: Target Center — Minneapolis, Minnesota TV: ESPN Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.) Follow: CBS Sports App Ticket Cost: $76.96

Odds

The Grizzlies are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Timberwolves, according to the latest NBA odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Grizzlies as a 3-point favorite.

Over/Under: -110

See NBA picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Memphis have won 19 out of their last 28 games against Minnesota.

Apr 21, 2022 – Memphis 104 vs. Minnesota 95 Apr 19, 2022 – Memphis 124 vs. Minnesota 96 Apr 16, 2022 – Minnesota 130 vs. Memphis 117 Feb 24, 2022 – Minnesota 119 vs. Memphis 114 Jan 13, 2022 – Memphis 116 vs. Minnesota 108 Nov 20, 2021 – Minnesota 138 vs. Memphis 95 Nov 08, 2021 – Memphis 125 vs. Minnesota 118 May 05, 2021 – Memphis 139 vs. Minnesota 135 Apr 02, 2021 – Memphis 120 vs. Minnesota 108 Jan 13, 2021 – Memphis 118 vs. Minnesota 107 Jan 07, 2020 – Memphis 119 vs. Minnesota 112 Dec 01, 2019 – Memphis 115 vs. Minnesota 107 Nov 06, 2019 – Memphis 137 vs. Minnesota 121 Mar 23, 2019 – Minnesota 112 vs. Memphis 99 Feb 05, 2019 – Memphis 108 vs. Minnesota 106 Jan 30, 2019 – Minnesota 99 vs. Memphis 97 Nov 18, 2018 – Memphis 100 vs. Minnesota 87 Apr 09, 2018 – Minnesota 113 vs. Memphis 94 Mar 26, 2018 – Memphis 101 vs. Minnesota 93 Dec 04, 2017 – Memphis 95 vs. Minnesota 92 Feb 04, 2017 – Memphis 107 vs. Minnesota 99 Nov 19, 2016 – Memphis 93 vs. Minnesota 71 Nov 01, 2016 – Minnesota 116 vs. Memphis 80 Oct 26, 2016 – Memphis 102 vs. Minnesota 98 Mar 16, 2016 – Minnesota 114 vs. Memphis 108 Feb 19, 2016 – Memphis 109 vs. Minnesota 104 Jan 23, 2016 – Minnesota 106 vs. Memphis 101 Nov 15, 2015 – Memphis 114 vs. Minnesota 106

Injury Report for Minnesota

No Injury Information

Injury Report for Memphis

Dillon Brooks: Game-Time Decision (Foot) Santi Aldama: Out (Knee) Killian Tillie: Out (Knee)

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