This is the moment a father finally met his newborn son for the first time – five weeks after he fell into a coma with COVID on the day his wife gave birth.
Andrew Allen caught coronavirus in July 2021, shortly before his wife Charlotte was due to give birth to his son Oliver.
But it would be weeks before the 32-year-old finally got to meet his son after his condition deteriorated and he ended up in a medically-induced coma.
A photograph captured the moment the pair were finally introduced in a hospital corridor after he had previously only caught a glimpse of Oliver in a photograph of him with his sister that a nurse left by his bed.
Allen, from Bolton, Greater Manchester, started feeling ill on 19 July, 2021 after a co-worker tested positive for COVID-19.
Over the next 10 days the factory worker, who had just had his first vaccination, lost his sense of smell, vomited and had diarrhoea, but thought he might only have a winter bug following a negative PCR test.
But as his symptoms continued to resemble coronavirus he realised he would be unable to join wife Charlotte, 32, in hospital on 27 July as she prepared to give birth to their son.
Oliver was born early the next morning but by that time his father's condition had deteriorated, with his family comparing his breathing to a "death rattle", and he was rushed to hospital just a few hours after the birth of his son.
"I was severely unwell," he said. "My oxygen stats were at 35, which apparently is very, very low – and one of the worst cases they’ve ever seen.
"I remember trying to tell the paramedics that my son had been born. But I kept getting told off for taking my oxygen mask off."
He was ventilator and put into a medically-induced coma on the day he arrived in hospital, which would continue for the next two weeks.
When he woke up on 11 August he spotted a picture of his daughter Imogen, five, with a baby he realised was his newborn child.
"There was a picture that the nurses had put up for me – and it was my little girl, and she was holding a baby," he said.
"At the time, I just remember thinking: 'That must be the baby'."
For the next three weeks, the frustrated dad was kept under observation, separated from his family, as he slowly began to recover.
He finally met his baby boy when he was five weeks old as the pair were introduced in a hospital corridor.
"I was on a high dependency ward, and I was moving down a ward because I was obviously getting better – and the consultant arranged for me to see them on the corridor," he said
"That was the first time I’d met Oliver. It was overwhelming – not just the fact that I’d seen my son for the first time, but I’d not seen my daughter at that point for about three and a half weeks as well."
He is now back working full-time but said he is still feeling the effects of COVID.
"I’m still nowhere near 100%. I think I lost about 25kg in about five weeks while being in hospital.
"I’m now building my muscle back up, and I’m back at work full time, but at the end of each day, I always feel tired."
Watch: Do coronavirus vaccines affect fertility?