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Tuesday, 5 March, 2002, 12:33 GMT
'Miracle' baby for impaled mother
The 6ins stake narrowly missed the unborn child
A woman who had a wooden stake embedded in her chest during a car crash while she was pregnant has described her baby as a "miracle".

Astrid Oates, 20, from Bournemouth, Dorset, was lucky to survive after the six-inch stake pierced her chest when she was eight-months pregnant.

The stake missed her unborn child by inches but she feared the trauma of the crash could result in her baby being born prematurely.

But in fact baby Kai was a few days overdue, weighing in at a healthy 6lbs 11ozs.

Joy at birth

Six weeks after the birth she said the arrival of her son is a "miracle".

She said: "The birth is a miracle, after the crash the doctors said I was lucky to survive.

"I'm very, very pleased. It was the happiest day of my life."

Miss Oates, a chef, was a passenger in a Saab 900 that careered out of control, crashing into a wooden fence at the bottom of an embankment, during an accident at 0230 GMT near Axminster, Devon, in January.

The mother-to-be was impaled by a section of post from the fence, which splintered off during the accident.

The splinter was completely embedded in her torso after going through her chest and entering her stomach. She needed a four-hour operation to remove it.

Family relief

"I was a bit scared there would be something wrong with him but I knew deep down he was going to be OK," she said.

Her injuries made the birth more painful and medics had ruled out the water birth she had planned.

"It was a bit painful but the result was worth it, he's lovely and healthy."

After the successful birth she decided to name the child Kai, which means survivor.

She can remember very little about the accident.

"The only thing I can remember is the car going off the road and the next thing I can remember is being in hospital.

"The first thing I said was 'Is my baby OK', I didn't care about myself.

"My next reaction was to get myself on my feet ready for the baby."

She remains in hospital in Bournemouth.

Her mother, Dagmar Oates, who was with her daughter during the birth, said: "We're happy but the baby is still having tests so we're not 100% at the moment.

"It's been a very tiring few weeks, a lot of stress because she was being monitored all the time, everybody's grateful it's over."

Click here to go to Southampton

Click here to go to Devon
See also:

12 Jan 02 | England
Pregnant woman impaled in crash
28 Dec 01 | England
Flying pole impales driver
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