Mum who woke from coma knew instantly five-month-old IVF baby she had waited 5 years for had died in horror smash

A MUM who woke from a coma after a car crash knew "in my heart" her baby boy born through IVF after a five-year struggle to conceive had died.

Five-month-old Louis Thorold was killed in the freak smash that left his mum Rachael Thorold, 36, fighting for life when a Mazda knocked a Renault Master van onto the footpath they were walking on in January.

The tiny tot died instantly in the crash at a notorious blackspot on the A10 at Waterbeach, Cambs.

Rachael was in a coma for ten days after fracturing her skull and breaking almost every bone on the right side of her body.

When she regained consciousness after almost eight weeks, Chris eventually told his wife the devastating news that their son had died.

Speaking via Zoom from her hospital bed as she continues her recovery, Rachael told The Daily Mail: "I remembered being pregnant.


"And because there was no baby I realised I must have lost him. I knew in my heart he had passed away."

Doctors hope she can come home before the end of May after a "miracle" recovery.

Rachael, who has undergone intense rehabilitation, said: "I’m doing everything to get better because I want to be the mum Louis loved.

"I owe it to him. I’ve never once thought of giving up."

The couple married in 2015 and gave birth to little baby Louis last year.

After a five-year struggle to conceive, Rachael fell pregnant with Louis after their first IVF round.

The driver they believe is responsible for the fatal crash that killed their baby son has not been charged.

Chris believes the woman, who is in her 70s and lives in the same village, is ill, but has been seen out driving.

They have set up the charity the Louis Thorold Foundation to tackle child pedestrian deaths by improving road safety.

The charity will urge drivers aged over 70 to be retested regularly.

Louis was born in August last year leaving the couple "punchdrunk on happiness".

I had longed to be a mum for so long. It had been a massive struggle. Louis was our little miracle and a lovely baby.

Rachael said: "I had longed to be a mum for so long.It had been a massive struggle. Louis was our little miracle and a lovely baby.

"He was just wonderful, smiley and happy. We had him for such a short time but he was everything to us."

Just weeks before the fatal crash Rachael, a council local plan manager, posted a loving picture of her boy with a string of IVF and fertility treatment tags.

Police said Louis was killed and Ms Thorold was left in a critical condition at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. 

I was prepared for Rachael to die. I told myself at least she would be with Louis

The driver of the van and the driver of the van and the Mazda suffered minor injuries and remained at the scene.

Doctors told Chris Rachael was in a coma with brain injuries and had a less than 50-50 chance of survival.

He spent two hours holding Louis as he said his last goodbyes to him.

Chris told The Daily Mail: "He had a little smile on his face. There were a few tiny cuts and bruises but otherwise he looked so perfect.

"I had to ask the nurses to call me away. It was the only way I could leave him.

"I was prepared for Rachael to die. I told myself at least she would be with Louis.

"I realised I had two choices — I could end it all. Or I could be there for Rachael.


"As long as she was still alive, she needed me. If it was hard for me, it was 100,000 times harder for her."

Louis's ashes are now kept in his bed wrapped in a sleeping bag he wore at night.

Chris said it's "a miracle" his wife is going home, but admits "it’s not over. She’s now got to face a home without Louis."

Following their son's death, Chris paid a heartbreaking tribute to the baby boy, saying he had made the parents “the happiest people in the world”. 

He said: “We will love you always our little Louis. You were only with us for a short time, but you made us the happiest people in the world.

“I cannot describe how heartbroken we are that you are gone.

“You are such a happy little boy and your joyful smile and laughter will never leave us."

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