At hospitals across the south, doctors report treating more pregnant women with COVID than at any point in the pandemic.
One of those women was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital a little more than two weeks ago. Her condition was so bad, doctors had to induce labor to save her life.
“I took her to Jackson and as soon as I dropped her off, it was like five different doctors rushing saying 'ok she needs help immediately,'” said Junior Laurent.
Laurent describes the night his wife was so sick, they rushed to the emergency room. The 31-year-old was pregnant with their second child.
“She’s having a hard time breathing, her oxygen saturation is quite low if we don't take the baby now she's gonna she’s gonna die," the doctors told Laurent. "I was like 'that’s pretty extreme' and they were like 'yeah, we’re taking the baby right now.'"
So, at week 32, baby Ethan was born. Junior couldn’t be there for his birth and he couldn’t see his wife in person for at least eight days so she could recover from COVID. He says he cried for nights.
But, one of those nights Laurent said a nurse who cared enough to connect the couple on FaceTime may have been what helped his wife survive.
“I have to say if it wasn't for Kevin, I have to say it was because if it wasn't for him, my wife she wouldn’t see how my emotions how I missed her and wanted her to be home," he said. "She saw our two-year-old gave me thumbs up and please fight and come home and she was able to do that."
The couple was unvaccinated and Junior also tested positive for COVID. Now, they regret not getting the shots sooner.
“We didn't know the effects on pregnant women or in the future.... but with all this happened so fast, it changed our perspective,“ he said.
Laurent, his wife, and baby Ethan don’t have COVID anymore. The CDC advises anyone over the age of 19 to get vaccinated including pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding, and women planning to get pregnant.
According to Dr. Marcos Mestre at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, some studies show mothers carrying the antibodies can be passed on to the baby even through breast milk.
"Which is a grear advantage given at this time they cant be vaccinated i mean it does protect the baby’s somewhat," Mestre said.
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