A mom in Poynette, Wisconsin, who gave birth while in a coma and recovered from the coronavirus finally got to meet her baby girl last week.
Three months after being diagnosed with COVID-19 and giving birth while in a coma, Kelsey Townsend was discharged from University Hospital and reunited with her family. It was the first time she'd met and been able to hold her newborn baby, Lucy. pic.twitter.com/iYrNGD6Xg9
— UW Health (@UWHealth) February 1, 2021
Townsend gave birth on November 4 while in a medically induced coma and her husband, Derek, said the entire experience has been “an emotional rollercoaster for sure — so many ups and downs.”
According to a press release from UW Health, the mother’s condition rapidly deteriorated and she spent 75 days on an ECMO machine and ventilator, otherwise known as life support systems.
“In December, UW Health doctors determined that Kelsey would need a double lung transplant to survive, and her husband delivered the news to her on Christmas Eve,” the hospital explained.
Derek said breaking the news to his wife was hard.
“Telling her she’s that sick, she won’t come home without it…it was difficult,” he commented.
However, days after being placed on the lung transplant waiting list, his wife’s health improved enough to where she was able to move out of the intensive care unit, taken off the ventilator in January, and then removed from the waiting list.
In a tweet on Tuesday, the hospital said an ECMO machine “can be a bridge to recovery or to a life-saving intervention, including transplant”:
Essentially an artificial heart/lung machine, ECMO can be a bridge to recovery or to a life-saving intervention, including transplant. We are proud of our remarkable ECMO team, especially this year when they’ve been able to support patients fighting COVID-19.
— UW Health (@UWHealth) February 2, 2021
On January 27, Townsend was discharged from the hospital and reunited with her family, including the newborn daughter she had never met.
“I love you so much, yeah. I missed you,” she told her little girl as they cuddled.
Following her discharge, Derek praised the medical staff and thanked them for caring for his wife through her illness.
“The nurses and the doctors and the staff here at UW is the best in the world. They did an absolutely amazing job,” he said.