SHE was the woman who came back from the dead after swine flu drugs almost killed her, now Samantha Goddard is celebrating becoming a mum.
After 20 hours in labour, the 23-year-old from Bicester gave birth to Vinnie, her ‘miracle boy’, who weighed in at a healthy 6lbs 2oz at Horton General Hospital.
His arrivial is an event she never dreamed would happen.
In 2009, Miss Goddard was left in a coma for 12 days after taking Tamiflu which was prescribed by the National Pandemic Flu Service Helpline during the height of the swine flu breakout.
She developed the life-threatening Stevens Johnson syndrome which left her blind, covered in blisters and with a string of health problems.
She recalled: “I was told by doctors there was a big possibility I would never have kids so I convinced myself I didn’t want to have any.
“It was a very big shock when I heard I was pregnant but now I couldn’t be happier. It’s been amazing.”
Doctors warned her to prepare for a caesarian section because of scarring caused by toxic epidermal necrolysis syndrome, which she developed as a result of Tamiflu.
But she was able to have a natural birth with her mum Debbie Van Horenbeeck and sister Charley Dale by her side.
Vinnie’s arrival on June 28 has brought new challenges for Miss Goddard, who has had to adapt to life without her sight.
She said: “He is very cheeky and he can tell I am visually impaired and can’t make out the measurement markings on his milk bottle properly. He pretends he hasn’t had enough and tries to make me feed him more than he needs.
“I have some help, like a prep machine to warm up his bottles to room temperature but there is not much out there. I use touch and feel a lot, which poses its own problems with a baby, especially when changing nappies.
“I make sure I store everything in certain places in the house, for example all his bottles in a certain cupboard, to make life easier for myself.”
Miss Goddard is getting lots of support from family and new partner Tony Chandler.
She met Mr Chandler, 45, at the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford before Vinnie was born and they have been living together in Bicester for three weeks.
She said: “My mum and sister come over and help out with anything I can’t cope with, which is really helpful. It’s nice to be in a new relationship as well.”
Miss Goddard studied art, maths and English in Hereford but has given up her studies to care for Vinnie.
She said: “I hope to go back to them some day but not until Vinnie is older. As much as I love him I don’t think I’ll be having any more children, so that should allow me to go back and study in the future.”
She was due to sue the National Pandemic Flu Service Helpline in March but her family decided to settle after complications with her pregnancy.
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.
Our top stories
6:24pm Saturday 22nd November 2014
TWO men were assaulted in Oxford city centre last weekend.
What have our brilliant columnists said this week - choose your favourite in our interactive collage
4:00pm Saturday 22nd November 2014
Just what have our thought-provoking columnists been writing about this week? Catch up with our interactive collage giving you a choice from 9 of the best
3:00pm Saturday 22nd November 2014
We've had some wonderful pictures this week - here's our interactive spread with links to the stories behind the photos
11:19am Saturday 22nd November 2014
Callers to the police's non-emergency 101 number are being urged to stay on the line despite problems.
9:30am Saturday 22nd November 2014
Michael Appleton says Oxford United will need to be intelligent if they are to keep heavyweight striker Adebayo Akinfenwa quiet for AFC Wimbledon today.
11:34am Friday 21st November 2014
Six things you may not have known were happening in Oxfordshire this weekend.