Two mothers who battled COVID-19 while pregnant share their stories of survival
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Delta variant of COVID-19 has been especially brutal for pregnant women in Mississippi.
According to the State Health Department, as of Wednesday there have been 68 cases this month with a peak of 155 cases in August.
We continue our 3 On Your Side Investigation: Fighting For Life, with two mothers sharing what they call the worst and scariest thing that has ever happened to them, fearing they could lose their lives or their babies.
Patience Buxton De Santiago lives in Morton. She is counting her blessings after she and her baby survived COVID-19.
De Santiago said, “Within days I was hospitalized after getting a positive COVID test. And I took every precaution necessary. I was really, really stringent, you know, with hand sanitizer, masks, etc. Barely going out and I still got it and, you know, being pregnant - it almost killed us.”
De Santiago’s son was delivered by emergency C-section two months early. She was released from St. Dominic on September 15 after spending a month in ICU, 11 days in a regular room.
“I woke up confused. I didn’t know what had happened. The room was full of the respiratory team and the nurses. Apparently I had coded in my sleep. And of course after that I had days where I could not sleep. I was too scared to go to sleep”, said De Santiago.
Still dealing with the effects of COVID, De Santiago remains on oxygen.
De Santiago said, “I’m in physical therapy because I had lost the ability to walk. I couldn’t do anything. I was pretty much bedridden. I had to be taken care of like a little baby.”
Jessica Odom grew up in Flowood and now lives in Florida. Her son was delivered by an emergency C-section at 32 weeks when oxygen levels dropped too low due to COVID.
Odom said, “I got off oxygen but I could still hardly walk. Just every joint, everything in my whole body was in so much pain.”
Odom says she could not see her baby until he was two weeks and one day old. De Santiago was also separated from her baby who was released from the NICU Saturday.
“It’s really hard, you know, to be separated from a newborn for a month. You know postpartum set in and it was really bad”, De Santiago said.
Odom said, “it was very confusing and hard to know that he was there. I just had never even gotten a look at him.”
De Santiago says she was on the fence about the COVID vaccination. Odom says everyone has to make up their own minds.
“I know they’re worried about what the vaccine could possibly do to the baby, but also COVID was not fun. It was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had”, said Odom.
“I barely survived the first round I can’t imagine getting it again,” said De Santiago.
De Santiago says she and her family will get the vaccination as soon as they can. Odom tells us in addition to her getting COVID, her two children and her mother also got coronavirus.
They all have recuperated.
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