A Scots mum who fell into a coma after a horrific balcony fall in Tenerife has woken up to meet her baby daughter for the first time.
Miracle recovery for Kirsty Maxwell
Kirsty Maxwell, 29, from Livingston, was on holiday with her husband Adam and their two sons when she plunged from the fourth floor of their apartment in the popular resort of Los Cristianos on February 27, 2023. She suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured skull, a broken back, and a collapsed lung. She was rushed to a hospital in Santa Cruz, where she underwent several surgeries and was placed in an induced coma.
Doctors told Adam that his wife had a slim chance of survival and that their unborn baby girl, who was 24 weeks at the time, was unlikely to make it. They advised him to prepare for the worst and to say goodbye to his wife.
But Kirsty defied the odds and gave birth to a healthy baby girl, named Ava, on March 15, 2023, via an emergency caesarean section. The baby was transferred to a neonatal unit, where she received specialist care.
Adam, who stayed by his wife’s side throughout the ordeal, said he was overjoyed when he saw his daughter for the first time. He said: “She was so tiny, but so beautiful. She looked just like Kirsty. I couldn’t believe she was alive and well. It was a miracle.”
Emotional reunion for Kirsty and Ava
Kirsty remained in a coma for more than a month, unaware that she had given birth to her daughter. She finally woke up on April 5, 2023, and was able to communicate with Adam through gestures and facial expressions. She also met her daughter for the first time, in an emotional reunion that was captured on video.
Adam said: “It was the most amazing moment of my life. I brought Ava to Kirsty’s bedside and told her that she was our daughter. She looked at her with so much love and tears in her eyes. She reached out and touched her face gently. She smiled and nodded. She knew she was her baby.”
He added: “Kirsty has been through so much, but she is a fighter. She is making progress every day. She can now speak a few words and move her arms and legs. She is determined to get better and to be a mum to our kids.”
Fundraising campaign for Kirsty and her family
Kirsty and Ava are still in hospital in Tenerife, where they are receiving ongoing treatment and rehabilitation. Adam and their sons, Logan, 4, and Leo, 2, are staying in a nearby hotel, where they visit them every day.
The family has been unable to return to Scotland due to the travel restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. They are also facing mounting medical bills, as their travel insurance does not cover all the costs of their care.
Adam, who works as a delivery driver, said: “It has been a nightmare. We are stuck in a foreign country, away from our family and friends. We don’t know when we will be able to go home. We are running out of money and we don’t know how we will pay for everything.”
He added: “We are so grateful for the support we have received from the staff at the hospital, the British consulate, and the local community. They have been amazing. They have helped us with everything, from finding accommodation to getting food and clothes. They have been like a second family to us.”
A fundraising campaign has been set up by Kirsty’s cousin, Angela McCabe, to help the family with their expenses. The campaign, which can be found on GoFundMe, has raised more than £50,000 so far, thanks to the generosity of more than 2,000 donors.
Angela said: “We are overwhelmed by the response. We want to thank everyone who has donated, shared, and sent messages of support. It means so much to us and to Kirsty and her family. They are going through the toughest time of their lives, but they are not alone. We are all behind them.”
She added: “We hope that Kirsty and Ava will recover fully and that they will be able to come home soon. They are both fighters and they have shown incredible strength and courage. They are an inspiration to us all.”