Man wakes from 18-day long coma and meets his newborn baby

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- A dad from Elizabeth City woke up from an 18-day long coma and met his daughter for the first time.

John Lancaster, 27, got sick with a cough on January 15, and by the 17th he couldn't breathe. His wife, Erica, insisted he go to the hospital.

Doctors at Sentara Albemarle Medical Center originally believed he was suffering from pneumonia and bronchitis. However, John's case was much worse than anticipated. A nightingale had to transfer him to Sentara Heart Hospital in Norfolk on January 18.

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John's lungs were not working properly, so an Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) device had to be installed. His lungs were not able to function on their own.

After the ECMO was installed, John was in a medically-induced coma for 18 days.

During that time, his wife, Erica Hunt, went into labor and gave birth to their first child. On January 24, baby Kimber Lynn Lancaster was born.

John did not get to meet his new daughter until February 9 when he was awake and aware enough to hold her.

According to our partners at the Virginian-Pilot, John didn't know Kimber had been born until a few days after the sedation started to wear off.

The family was expected to go home on Valentine's Day.

During all of this, physicians discovered John had an undiagnosed condition called LVNC (Left Ventricular Non-Compaction Cardiomyopathy). He will have to be tested annually going fo