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3 moms who gave birth while fighting coronavirus surprised with gifts from Hoda

“I'm looking at survivors, but beyond,” Hoda Kotb told the three mothers who survived COVID-19.
/ Source: TODAY

Preparing for a baby can be a magical experience, but the coronavirus disrupted the moment for three expectant mothers.

Shaquilla James, of Summerton, South Carolina, joined Alicia Kappers, from Cincinnati, and Rocio Casalduc, from Nashua, New Hampshire, as pregnant women who contracted COVID-19 and gave birth while they had the virus. They recently sat down with TODAY's Hoda Kotb to discuss their experiences — and receive a care package!

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Three deserving moms from South Carolina, Ohio and New Hampshire, respectively, each received gift baskets in the mail.
Three deserving moms from South Carolina, Ohio and New Hampshire, respectively, each received gift baskets in the mail.TODAY

James delivered her baby girl, Aubrey, two weeks early and then went into a coma.

“I was thinking that might be the last time I see her,” she said. “So I thought about it and I prayed and I told them just go ahead and take her."

Casalduc got the virus while five months pregnant and, before being intubated, listened to doctors ask her a question no parent wants to hear.

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“They asked me if I had to choose between my life or my daughter’s life, who would I chose?” she said.

She woke up three weeks later to learn she had given birth to daughter Victoria, who is currently still in the NICU.

Kappers also can’t recall giving birth.

“My son and husband dropped me off at the ER,” she said. “And then eight hours later I was on a ventilator.”

She remained on oxygen for more than a month and was in a coma when she delivered her son, Laith, via C-section.

“They also told me the story that when I delivered, I shed a big crocodile tear and smiled. So I think it just really tells the power of the subconscious,” she said.

All three women have since recovered and returned home.

“What you all have been through is beyond. I'm looking at survivors, but beyond,” Hoda told them.

“I think you guys missed out a lot of things that new moms get. And we thought what a shame they didn't get a baby shower, and then we thought maybe we can fix that.”

She then told the women that a package would be waiting on their respective front steps when the call ended. Each woman opened up a box from Pampers filled with balloons, toys, stuffed animals, bags and a year’s supply of diapers and wipes.

“It’s a blessing to me and my family. And I just want to say thank you, thank you and thank you again,” James said.