FRESNO (CBS SF) — A Fresno mother returned home Saturday for the first time in over nine months since she fell into a coma while pregnant with her son.
“Our family will be made whole, even if the reality is different than for what we have intensely hoped,” Carleton’s father, John Farrell, wrote on the family’s GoFundMe page Sunday.
In May, Melissa Carleton gave birth to her son by Caesarian section at UC San Francisco while she was in a coma since having surgery for a brain tumor in March.
Carleton’s parents brought the baby home to Fresno in October while she continued to receive care at UC San Francisco. Now after months of commuting nearly five hours between the Bay Area and Fresno, Farrell says he is relieved his daughter, son-in-law and grandson will all be under one roof.
Carleton continues to be in a “minimally conscious state,” which is technically a coma, but on the wakeful and positive end of a coma spectrum.
“She hears us, tracks us with her eyes, moves all of her limbs, turns her head, has started mouthing words, and is improving slowly, but still can’t help herself in any meaningful way,” Farrell writes. “In a way, she is like a quadriplegic, but with the very real hope that she will grow her way out of it, or, rather, into helping herself more and more.”
In early November, Carleton had a shunt installed in her brain to help diminish the effects of the hydrocephalus she had contracted.
A month later, Farrell said insurance could no longer pay for continued hospitalization. The family has decided to bring home all the equipment Carleton will need to turn their space in a personal rehab center with her newborn son and husband nearby.
In nine months, Carleton’s family has raised over $121,000 on their GoFundMe page to help with care costs.