A mother suffering from symptoms of the Chinese coronavirus gave birth to a baby girl on April 8 after being put in a medically induced coma in Mineola, Long Island.
Forty-one-year-old Adriana Torres was six months pregnant when she was rushed to NYU Winthrop Hospital on April 5, according to the New York Post.
“I was very, very, very sick when I went to the hospital,” she recalled in Spanish. “I had a strong cough, I was six-months pregnant, more than six months pregnant, and I couldn’t breathe.”
As her condition worsened, doctors decided to sedate her and eventually put Torres in a medically induced coma.
“We were trying to optimize her respiratory condition as long as we could, to prolong her pregnancy, but her oxygen level started deteriorating,” said Dr. Patricia Rekawek.
Despite the tough decision, Rekawek said the best thing was to “deliver the baby, to reduce the oxygen demands on the mother, so that the ICU could better optimize her care.”
Pregnant women seem to have the same risk of contracting the disease as other adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
However, the agency noted, “Pregnant people have changes in their bodies that may increase their risk of some infections,” adding that they “have had a higher risk of severe illness when infected with viruses from the same family as COVID-19 and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza.”
Following Torres’ delivery, Rekawek said the C-section was “uncomplicated” and baby Leah was born prematurely at 29 weeks, weighing two pounds, 15 ounces.
As her breathing improved, doctors began reducing the mother’s sedation and she came out of the coma on her 41st birthday, April 10.
“For me, it was the best medicine I could have,” Torres said about seeing her daughter once she awoke.
“It was very difficult because I didn’t get to see her for another week. But to see her was the best thing that could’ve happened at that moment. It was the best medicine I needed, that my body needed,” she explained.
Saturday, doctors released the mother and she began quarantine at home while the baby remained at the hospital.
“It’s super difficult, but what can I do? She’s in an incubator. I have to put up with all this to get better for her and for my family,” she said, adding, “I know that she’s in good hands. I know they’ll take care of her and keep her safe.”