UPLAND (CBSLA) — As Yvette Camacho wheeled her newborn daughter, Emery, out of San Antonio Regional Hospital in Upland Thursday, it signaled the end of their battle with COVID and the beginning of their life together at home.
“I am ecstatic,” she said. “We’ve been waiting for this moment for quite some time now.READ MORE: Man Fatally Shot In Officer-Involved Shooting In San Fernando
Camacho first arrived at San Antonio Hospital in January after contracting COVID-19. The 30-year-old had no preexisting conditions, other than her pregnancy. But due to the severity of her illness, she was airlifted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
“By the time she came to us, she was really struggling, to be honest,” Dr. Dominic Emerson, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Cedars-Sinai, said.
When she arrived at Cedars, Camacho was placed on ECMO — a machine that pumps and oxygenates blood outside the body, allowing the heart and lungs to rest — and her baby needed to be delivered immediately, despite being only 26 weeks along.
“I think that if had she not come to us, or even if we delayed the transfer for whatever reason, I don’t think that, unfortunately, either her or her baby would have survived this,” Emerson said.READ MORE: Man Fatally Shot In Rowland Heights
Camacho was on a ventilator, her body so weak she needed to be paralyzed during the delivery. When she woke up a week later, she was told that Emery had been born. For days, their only contact was over FaceTime.
“It was really heartbreaking, because the first moments of her life, it’s the most bonding time that I felt that I needed with her and I didn’t get to experience that,” Camacho said.
Camacho was discharged from Cedars-Sinai just 18 days after she arrived and Emery was transferred to San Antonio Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit so she could be closer to home.
And on Thursday, exactly one month and two full pounds later, Emery was strong enough to leave the hospital.
“It’s really a miracle that we both made it and that both hospitals did whatever it took to have us here today,” Camacho said.MORE NEWS: LAUSD Begins Phased-In Reopening Starting This Week
Doctors at Cedars-Sinai said the reason why some pregnant women with no underlying health conditions get so sick, while others don’t, was still being researched. In the meantime, doctors have urged all pregnant women should get a vaccine as soon as it becomes available.