The last thing Gemma Holmes remembers from September 8, 2012, is getting on her moped and heading to work.
Three months later she awoke to find herself in Frenchay Hospital in Bristol with severe head and neck injuries. She wasn’t expected to survive. Unbeknownst to her, she was also four months pregnant.
While in a coma, doctors took tests to determine whether Gemma should undergo back surgery, which is when they discovered she was approximately one month pregnant. She hadn’t even missed a period before the accident. Her mother Julie chose to wait until Gemma was awake and let her make up her own mind about how to proceed.
"So many things went through my head but I wanted to wait until Gemma was awake to make the decision," she told ITV’s This Morning.
Gemma told reveal.co.uk that she can’t begin to describe how it felt when a doctor gently broke the news that she was expecting a baby.
“For a start, I had no idea how I ended up in hospital, let alone how I had fallen pregnant – or by whom.”
Suffering from amnesia after the accident, Gemma couldn’t recall the relationship with the baby’s father, Luke, or what led to their break-up.
Although offered a termination, Gemma says, “I couldn't help thinking this baby had come to me – out of the blue – for a reason.” She decided to continue her pregnancy.
However, this choice came with a catch: if she stayed pregnant, she wouldn’t be able to have surgery on her back until after the birth and would have to remain in a wheelchair.
On 2 May 2013, two weeks before her due date, Gemma gave birth via caesarean to a healthy little boy weighing 5lb 15oz (2.69kg). She named him Rueben Miracle William Holmes.
She’s able to breastfeed Reuben, and change his nappy, but will have to wait six months to undergo an MRI to find out if she can have surgery to walk again.
Although she hasn’t reconciled with her former partner, he has vowed to be involved with the baby. And despite what she’s been though, Gemma maintains that Reuben is the best thing to ever happen to her.
“I may not remember how he came to me but I've got the rest of our lives to make up for that.”