Miracle recovery: Father wakes up from coma just in time to see the birth of his son

Posted at 8:35 PM, Mar 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-26 23:30:38-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Nine months pregnant, her husband in a coma, Jlee Moodie sat next to her husband in St. Joseph’s Hospital South praying for a miracle.

Nine days earlier, Theron Moodie, felt sick, extremely sick. His wife fought for him to go to the hospital. Theron thought he had the flu and could sleep it off.  

What he didn’t know was that he had a perforated bowel and it was leaking into his peritoneum, the serous membrane that forms the lining of the abdominal cavity.

It was July of 2017, weeks earlier Theron had surgery to close an abscess on his thigh. He thought it was an ingrown hair. But, weeks later Theron wasn’t getting better. What he didn’t know is that his body was turning septic. Theron’s wife realizing her husband was extremely sick rushed him to the emergency room.

“Immediately they admit him, the abscess had reopened and had stool coming out of it,” Jlee said. “His liver, kidneys, heart and lungs all took a hit from the sepsis. They kept him in a coma so his body could recover. On day six he took a turn for the worst. The doctor said that he wasn't going to make it through the night.”

Jlee prepared herself to give birth to her first child and possibly bury her husband in the same week. Desperate, she prayed and told her husband to fight.

“I told him he didn't get any more attention it was my turn, you gotta get through this for your son and that I needed him there, I needed him there for him,” Jlee said. “I needed him there for his birth. This is his first son. We’ve tried hard for seven years to see his son born and to help take care of him and raise him and be the father he wanted to be.”

Theron survived the night but his lungs were failing. His nurse said they should put him in a rotoprone bed to see if that helped his lungs heal. Miraculously, it worked.

“We had him turned upside down so it takes all that pressure off his lungs,” Jennie George the Nurse Manager said. “We turned him upside down and his heart rate came down and his oxygen levels went up.”

George said they only order the bed one or two times a year.

Jlee thinks the last minute decision saved her husband’s life.

“I just remember when I woke up I had to teach myself how to walk again really fast to be there for the birth of my son,” Theron said.  

A few days after waking up Jlee went into labor. Theron checked himself out of the hospital and was there for the birth of his son Giovanni.

“I wasn’t supposed to leave the hospital,” Theron Moodie said. “I just had a will.  I was not going to not be there for my son.  I was in so much joy, but I didn't want to show it, because I didn't trust I wasn't going to pass out.”

The Moodie family had the most difficult week of their lives but say they were blessed twice. Jlee gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and her husband survived septic shock.

“I didn't realize I almost died. When I woke up I only thought I was out for a few hours,” Theron said. “I try to be happy every day I know today is a great day. I’m alive. I’m here for my son, my wife, every day is a good day.”

“It was a miracle. God did his work, along with all the doctors and nurses for sure,” Jlee said.  

Theron still has a few more surgeries ahead. But, he is expected to make a full recovery.