SWEETWATER (WATE) – An East Tennessee woman whose baby was born while she was in a coma is now awake, according to friends.
Sharista Giles was on her way home from a concert in Nashville with friends in early December when her mom says the driver of her car fell asleep at the wheel, crashing into a concrete barrier. Giles was left in a coma.Previous story:Sweetwater pregnant woman in a coma at UT Medical after tragic accident
The baby, nicknamed “Baby L,” was born prematurely in January and Giles was taken to Harriman Care and Rehab Center.
“The doctors were telling us there was nothing else they could do,” Beverly Giles, Sharista’s aunt, told ABC News. “They already gave up hope. We never gave up. She’s fought this hard.”
Beverly Giles posted to Facebook that the center called the family to tell them Sharista was awake and they rushed to see her.
Sharista blinked, gave her family members’ hands a squeeze when they tickled her and followed her father around with her eyes, Giles said.
“He showed her a picture of her baby, and she followed the picture,” she said. “When he turned around to put it back on the bulletin board, she turned her neck, her whole head trying to follow and find the picture again.”
The baby is still in the UT Medical Center neonatal intensive care unit, but is improving and now weighs 6 pounds, 4 ounces.
WATE 6 On Your Side will continue to follow Giles’ recovery.Slideshow:Pregnant Sweetwater woman in coma