Colombian mom with COVID-19 gives birth to premature baby while in coma

CALI, Colombia: Diana Angola was fighting for her own life when she gave birth to son Jefferson. The 36-year-old had been put into a coma having contracted the novel coronavirus, which left her lungs barely able cope.

Doctors performed a caesarian section due to the state of her lungs and Jefferson was born at least 14 weeks prematurely.

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The case generated "a lot of shock," Paula Velasquez, a doctor specialising in internal medicine at the Versalles clinic in the southeastern city of Cali, told AFP.

"We knew that there were few reported cases of survival in a context as severe as our patient," said Velasquez.

Angola, who also has a daughter, was taken to hospital on May 15 with a high fever.
Three days later she was put into an induced coma and kept that way until surgery.

Diana Angola's son Jefferson remains in an incubator having been born at least 14 weeks prematurely. (Photo: AFP/Luis Robayo)

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READ: The bridesmaids wore masks: Colombian couple meets, marries in coronavirus shelter

Because of her pregnancy, she was kept sitting up at a 45-degree angle, when those suffering from pneumonia are normally laid down flat to help their breathing.

Jefferson, though premature, was born without the coronavirus – but doctors said he struggled to breathe, and that they had to revive him.

"We had to go through the whole procedure of a critical patient," pediatrician Edwin Olivo, who was one of the specialists involved in the birth, said.

But, he added, that although the baby remains in an incubator, he quickly started putting on weight and breathing more easily.

"A human being can survive from 24 weeks with a good weight, but with a lot of technology and an effect on neurological development and the lungs," said Velasquez.

Diana Angola's child Jefferson was born at least 14 weeks prematurely but his condition has been improving ever since. (Photo: AFP/Luis Robayo)

PAINFUL MEMORIES

Now recovered from the virus, Angola is desperate to be discharged with her son.

"It's really emotional knowing that we fought, that the doctors helped us survive," she said, her voice faint.

She says she doesn't know how she contracted the virus and her family insists she complied rigidly with the lockdown, first imposed on Mar 25 but which has been easing recently.

Diana Angola says she doesn't know how she contracted the coronavirus but is now just desperate to go home with her son. (Photo: AFP/Luis Robayo)

In the hospital corridors, her sister Angela breathes a sigh of relief.

Hospitals bring back painful memories: Two years ago her mother and another sister died in intensive care, where Diana was for several weeks.

Angela remembers her sister screaming: "Don't let them put me on artificial ventilation, get me out of here, I don't want toRead More – Source