A woman, who gave birth while in a medical coma as she battled COVID-19, met her baby for the first time on Wednesday.
Yanira Soriano was visibly overwhelmed as her healthy 12-day-old son, Walter, was placed in her arms to the sound of thunderous cheers at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, New York.
Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, chair of the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was in tears.
“She was on a ventilator for 11 days,” Schwartz told TODAY Parents. “We didn’t know if this little boy would ever meet his mom. She was in critical condition."
Soriano, 36, was 34 weeks pregnant when she arrived on April 2, suffering from symptoms including fever, cough and shortness of breath. The following day, her health began to deteriorate rapidly.
“She was terrified of what was happening,” Schwartz revealed. “I think everyone involved was fearful. At the time, there was a very poor prognosis for people who ended up on a ventilator. More people were dying then surviving.”
Schwartz recalled how Soriano’s three older children broke down when their mom was wheeled out of the hospital on Wednesday.
“They were so relieved,” he said.
As Soriano got out of her wheelchair and began walking to her car, she turned around for a moment and nodded at the health care workers behind her.
“It was this powerful, human moment,” Schwartz told TODAY Parents. “We needed this so badly. We need something to celebrate.”