A 36-year-old woman with Covid-19 in New York met Wednesday for the first time with the baby she gave birth in early April, by an emergency cesarean, while in an artificial coma and under respirator.
Yanira Soriano spent 11 days intubated. She came out “miraculously” to meet her fourth child, tells AFP the head of gynecology and obstetrics at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore.
“We didn’t know if she was going to survive. Most patients on respirators don’t survive,” explained the doctor, Benjamin Schwartz.
Her condition finally improved in a few days and it was to the applause of dozens of caregivers moved to tears that she left Wednesday in the hospital, in a wheelchair. Her husband, masked like her, then handed her baby boy, Walter.
Yanira was eight months pregnant when she was infected, as was her husband, who was able to stay with him. She was hospitalized, put on oxygen, but her condition quickly deteriorated.
Doctors were worried that the lack of oxygen would put the baby at risk, but also that the pressure from the large belly would prevent the pregnant woman’s lungs from functioning properly.
They just had time to tell her that they wanted an emergency Cesarean. “But everything got worse just before the Cesarean and she was intubated. She was not conscious when her baby was born,” adds Dr. Schwartz.
Little Walter, slightly premature, is fine. Transferred to a children’s hospital in New York, he was picked up by his father on Tuesday.
In some rare instances, babies born to mothers with Covid-19 tested positive themselves when they were checked shortly after birth – but this was not the case for little Walter, whose test came out clear.
The pandemic has extracted an especially heavy toll in New York, where more than 11,000 have died statewide.
The prognosis for patients who need to go on ventilators because their lungs are failing is poor, with only around 20 per cent surviving the ordeal, according to the state’s governor.