A WOMAN who almost died after wrongly being prescribed swine flu drug Tamiflu is now expecting her first baby.
Samantha Goddard – who was left blind and covered in blisters after emerging from a coma – said the boy was her “miracle baby”, a child she never believed she would have.
The 23-year-old from Bicester said: “I didn’t think I would fall pregnant to be honest. It’s a whole new chapter in my life and I’m looking forward to it.”
Miss Goddard, formerly Millard, said she went through “hell” after the National Pandemic Flu Service Helpline prescribed her Tamiflu in December 2009. Tests later revealed she did not have swine flu as suspected.
She developed the life-threatening Stevens Johnson syndrome which later developed into toxic epidermal necrolysis syndrome damaging her eyesight and leaving her with a string of health problems.
Above, Samantha before the drug was given, and below,
with mum Debbie Van Horenbeeck in the wake of the life-threatening reaction
Last month she was due to sue the service at the High Court but after complications with her pregnancy the family decided to settle.
Her mother Debbie Van Horenbeeck said: “We took a small out of court settlement due to the pregnancy because we didn’t want anymore stress on Sam. We had to think of Sam and the baby.”
Miss Goddard, who is separated from the baby’s father, said she is now looking forward to the birth of her son in July.
She said: “I’m excited and scared. The hard part is trying to find visually-impaired-friendly equipment.”
She has been getting some lessons in baby care, including dressing, feeding and nappy changing from sister and carer Charley Dale, 27, who has two children.
The appliances in Miss Goddard’s new home, such as the washing machine, will have brail instruction panels.
After being told she was unlikely to regain her sight, Miss Goddard learned brail and also studied art, maths and English at the Royal National College for the Blind, in Hereford.
Samantha with her sister Charley Dale and Charley’s 12-week-old son Harrison Day
She now plans to live independently and before her son is born hopes to attend courses which help visually impaired parents care for their babies.
Mrs Van Horenbeeck added: “We can’t look on the sad, depressing side, she has got to live the rest of her life.
“I’m so proud of Sam for what she has done and how she’s come through the other end. She was told there was a big possibility she could not fall pregnant.”
Initially Miss Goddard thought she may have to have a c-section because of scarring caused by toxic epidermal necrolysis syndrome, but doctors have given the all-clear for a natural birth.
Last week, a report by the Cochrane Collaboration, which included Oxford University Professor Carl Heneghan, claimed the Tamiflu drug was not more effective than paracetamol, and reduced symptoms slightly quicker.