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Latina Diagnosed With Coronavirus Delivers Baby While In A Coma

The novelty of the COVID-19 pandemic has posed quite a few questions for the medical world. According to the World Health Organization, there is little known about the disease particularly when it concerns the impact of the disease on pregnant women and their babies. An extremely limited amount of data is available to provide obstetric medical care insight into how it could affect their patients and a recent case out of New Jersey shows the severity of this lack in knowledge.

Last month, Johana Mendoza Chancay was diagnosed with coronavirus. While she was pregnant.

According to an interview with New York Daily News, Chancay did not initially worry too much about her diagnosis. She took care of herself by self-quarantining and resting but eventually found she was having issues with her breathing. On March 30, she headed to Hoboken University Medical Center, and upon arrival was told she would have to put into a coma.

“The doctor told me pretty quick that the baby was in jeopardy. They said I would have to get an emergency C-section,” she explained. “I was freaking out,” she said. “That’s pretty much the last thing I remember.”

When Chancay woke up, fourteen days had passed and she’d delivered a one-pound baby named Zion.

Born 14 weeks early, Zion remains in the hospital in the neonatal intensive care unit, and two days after her mother was put into a coma. Chancay was awakened from her coma on April 13. She will not be reunited with her mother until July 8, her due date. Instead of getting to meet her newborn by holding her in her arms for the first time, Chancay met her by way of webcam.

“When I saw my baby [on the monitor], I cried,” Chancay told the Daily News. “It feels like everything just happened so quickly but then I realized — ‘Wow, I was there for a long time.’ ”

Chancay is now in recovery at her sister’s home in Connecticut and is undergoing physical therapy to get her strength back. She still has an open wound from her C-section that is healing and has some lung damage from the virus. According to Daily News she cannot talk or move too fast without coughing.

Speaking about interacting with her daughter through a webcam Chancay says she knows it’s necessary to keep Zion safe. The newborn has fortunately remained coronavirus free.

“She moves her hand arms a lot, and here and there I can catch her open and close her eyes,” Chancay gushed. “I feel very blessed and grateful.”

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