A mother has overcome COVID-19 after contracting the virus at 28 weeks pregnant. Not only did she beat the odds to survive, but doctors delivered her premature baby girl by C-section while the new mom was in a coma.
Separated by an incubator and her face mask, the 32-year-old mom Blanca Rodriguez met her baby for the first time in the NICU at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital.
Blanca, from Adelanto, California, was rushed to the hospital on July 24 almost seven months pregnant. She was having trouble breathing, the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital told The Epoch Times via email.
Blanca tested positive for COVID-19 with acute respiratory distress syndrome. She deteriorated quickly.
Dr.Courtney Martin, attending physician and medical director for maternity services at Loma Linda University Children’sHospital, delivered Blanca’s baby, Jade.
“The biggest difficulty was that we were managing two lives instead of one,” Dr. Martin said. “The baby was severely premature but Blanca was not stabilizing.”
Blanca was losing the fight; her lungs, filled with fluid, were exhausted by the labor of breathing, and her immune system was depleted, according to Loma Linda University Health. Doctors decided to intubate and ventilate her under a medically induced coma to give both Blanca and her baby the best chance of survival.
The expecting mom called her family over FaceTime to say her last goodbye.
Not long after, Blanca was put under a coma; however, the baby went into distress. Martin, and a crack team of almost 25 doctors and nurses, executed a lifesaving C-section and delivered baby Jade in the early morning of July 27.
“The ICU room was filled with so many doctors, nurses, and support staff doing everything they could to save both mom and baby,” Martin said.
Jade was “blue and not breathing or crying” when Martin lifted her out. The NICU team intubated the baby while Martin focused on Blanca.
“I remember turning and asking how Jade was,” Martin said.
“Finally, they had color change on the CO2 monitor indicating the endotracheal tube was in the right place, and Jade turned from blue to a healthy pink.”
Jade was placed on a ventilator in the NICU and tested negative for COVID-19 but nonetheless faced an uphill struggle as a preemie without her mother; Blanca remained critical.
Blanca received steroid treatment, anti-virals, oxygen, convalescent plasma, and antibiotics for days, and slowly, her body got stronger. On Aug. 2, still sporting a fever, Blanca was taken off her ventilator and turned a corner. She was allowed home four days later.
Jade remained in the NICU for almost two months, with regular visits from her mother, who held, spoke to, and bonded with her baby girl. Doctors discharged Jade from the hospital on Sept. 27.
Martin updated The Epoch Times that both mom and daughter are doing well, and that their remarkable recovery is a testament to the incredible team at Loma Linda.
There have been approximately 10 other women needing support for respiratory failure since the pandemic began, said Martin, plus one similar case as severe as Blanca’s.
Martin advised pregnant women to exercise diligence by wearing masks, washing their hands, and getting a seasonal flu shot. “We will all get through this together,” Martin said. “Your OB doctors and teams care very much about getting you and your baby through the pregnancy, and the pandemic, safely.”
“COVID-19 is not a joke, especially for pregnant moms and babies. It nearly killed me,” Blanca told Loma Linda University Health.
“I’m so thankful for my life and my daughter’s life.”
Watch the mom-daughter reunion video below:
(Courtesy of Loma Linda University Children’s Health)
We would love to hear your stories! You can share them with us at email@example.com