Pregnant woman put on life support soon after emergency C-section due to COVID-19 complications

Mom gave birth while fighting COVID-19 at NHRMC
Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 10:52 AM CST
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WHITEVILLE, N.C. (WECT/Gray News) – A pregnant woman with COVID-19 was airlifted to the hospital within a week of her diagnosis and had an emergency C-section.

According to WECT, Brian and Kathryn Ayres both contracted the virus at the end of July, but Kathryn Ayres’ symptoms were much worse than her husband’s.

“I felt like I had been run over by a bus and that I just couldn’t even get out of the bed,” Kathryn said.

She was 39-weeks pregnant at the time.

After delivering a healthy baby girl, Piper, doctors intubated Kathryn and ultimately put her on life support within 10 days of arriving at the hospital.

“I really thought I was planning a funeral,” Brian said. “I’m literally at home with a newborn and a 16-year-old trying to figure out how life is going to be now. We didn’t really know one day to the next because it was so up and down.”

Brian said he called his wife four times a day, unsure if he would ever hear her voice again.

She was in a coma until Sept. 3, but still had a long way to go.

Kathryn slowly made improvements, and doctors explained that things wouldn’t be normal right away.

She lost most of her physical strength as her body focused on recovering so that she could get well enough to see her family again.

About two weeks after Kathryn got off life support, she was able to visit with her husband and two children.

After spending 65 days in the hospital, she was able to go home to continue rehabilitation.

“I couldn’t just jump up and do things that I used to,” Kathryn explained. “I’d watch people walk around the room, and I was so jealous.”

Kathryn said she needed help with daily tasks like getting dressed and putting on shoes.

But despite the challenges, the family is cherishing every moment they have together.

“Now, it literally is just enjoying every single day that we have,” Brian said. “Just the fact that I get a second chance with my wife is amazing to me. I get to have my wife home – it’s awesome.”

“I’m grateful to be here,” Kathryn said. “There are a lot of people that aren’t here. There are a lot of children that don’t have their parents because of COVID, and a lot of families buried loved ones, so I’m just grateful to God. There are issues, but I’m here to do the work.”

Kathryn was not vaccinated against COVID-19 due to concerns with her pregnancy but plans to get immunized soon. Brian was fully vaccinated at the time of contracting the virus.

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