COVID-19: SoCal doctors deliver baby while mother in coma

The stay-at-home mom was 28 weeks pregnant when she was stricken with COVID-19.
LOMA LINDA, Calif. (KABC) -- A mother from Adelanto is thanking doctors at Loma Linda University Medical Center for what she calls a miracle.

Blanca Rodriguez, a stay-at-home mom, was 28 weeks pregnant when she was stricken with COVID-19.

"You are going to get over this," said Dr. Kanawatjeet Maken as Rodriguez' journey was recorded by the medical center's film crew.

"My prayers were if God was hearing us to save my baby and me," said Rodriguez.

Dr. Maken says that caring for COVID-19 patients who are pregnant is a nightmare.

"During the seven days that I had her there were lots of moments where I thought I had almost lost her," said Dr. Maken, an internal medicine specialist.

A drama would unfold. Rodriguez' condition suddenly worsened. As she struggled to breathe, life was slowly draining from her unborn baby.

"At this point she is not oxygenating and we have to do something to fix it," said Dr. Courtney Martin, OB-GYN and maternity medical director as the camera was rolling.

The "fix" would involve 30 doctors in the operating room. As Rodriguez was in a coma, her baby was delivered by C-section and handed to a team of neonatal specialists.

"There we go," said one doctor as baby Jade took her first breath.

Jade's mother would wake up days later unaware that her baby had been born. It would take another month for an emotional reunion. Touching her tiny baby in an incubator for the first time.

With only 28 weeks to develop, Baby Jade will need more time in the NICU before she is strong enough to go home.

Meantime, Rodriguez and the staff at Loma Linda Medical Center hope by sharing their story that others will take COVID19 more seriously and utilize all measures for protection. Latinas have been especially hard hit in the Inland Empire.

As for the prayers, Rodriguez says they are all about thanksgiving now.

"I am grateful they could do all they could do. It is a miracle. It is a blessing."

7 things we've learned about COVID-19 in the last 7 months
EMBED More News Videos

Since the World Health Organization first tweeted about an outbreak in China on January 4, here are seven things we have learned about COVID-19.

Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.