Mom meets her newborn son for 1st time after surviving COVID-19, emergency C-section

Yanira Soriano was put on a ventilator before she had an emergency C-section.

Yanira Soriano was in her third trimester of pregnancy when she was hospitalized earlier this month at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, New York.

Soriano, 36, later tested positive for pneumonia and COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, according to Northwell Health, the hospital's parent company.

She was quickly put on a ventilator and then had an emergency cesarean section at 34 weeks pregnant, according to Norwell Health.

"Because of the critical nature of her pneumonia, she had to go under general anesthesia and be put into a medically induced coma and be put on a ventilator," Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Southside Hospital, said in an interview released by the hospital. "She was not awake when her baby was born and did not hear the baby cry or have any opportunity to meet him right after his birth."

Soriano remained in the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU) for nearly two weeks, while her newborn son was transferred to a children's hospital in New York City, according to Schwartz.

On Wednesday, Soriano got to meet her son, Walter, for the first time when she was discharged from the hospital.

Soriano, wearing a face mask, was brought outside the hospital in a wheelchair as dozens of health care workers cheered her on. She then held Walter for the first time in her arms.

"It’s an incredibly proud moment for not just the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology but for Southside Hospital and the entire team that works here," said Schwartz. "It takes many, many people over many, many shifts to provide the level of care that this patient needed."

"As you know, many patients that end up on a ventilator with a COVID-pneumonia do not survive, and the fact that this mom not only survived but was able to get out of her wheelchair and walk into her car and hold her baby gives us all incredible hope for future patients and our existing patients that have COVID disease," he said.

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