'Miracle' Mom: Swine Flu Almost Killed Pregnant Woman

N.J. woman spent seven weeks in a coma after an emergency C-section.

ByABC News via GMA logo
October 14, 2009, 9:38 PM

Oct. 15, 2009— -- Karin McHugh almost lost her life and that of her unborn child to swine flu.

Her illness was a textbook case of how the H1N1 virus can be particularly harmful to expectant mothers.

McHugh, her husband Brian, daughter Emily and baby Liam appeared on "Good Morning America" today to share their shocking story just two weeks after McHugh returned home from the hospital.

"I'm very fortunate," she told "GMA" co-anchor Robin Roberts. "My outcome is a miracle."

McHugh was 29 years old, and 38 weeks into her pregnancy when she developed a cough in July.

"It started on a Tuesday," she recalled. "It just started with a cough; I had been wheezing."

The possibility that she might have the H1N1 virus never occured to the Collingswood, N.J., woman.

I don't even think I've ever had the flu," she said. "I called my OBGYN to see what I could take. She said to see my family practitioner."

McHugh was initially diagnosed with bronchitis and given an inhaler, but five days later, she started running a fever. By Saturday she "couldn't even get out of bed."

"I told my husband, you have to take me to the hospital," she said. "Something's not right."

"She definitely knew that something was definitely wrong," her husband Brian McHugh said. "I felt naïve to the fact that anything this serious could happen."