When Megan Sites, 27, went into labor in the 29th week of her pregnancy and delivered a baby boy, she had no recollection of the moment as she was heavily sedated and was on a ventilator after her symptoms of coronavirus worsened.

The date was April 1, when Sites, seven-months pregnant with her second child admitted herself into Joint Township’s emergency department as she was having difficulty breathing and was unable to lie flat.

On being tested, it was discovered that her lungs had been clotted with coronavirus. She was immediately put on a ventilator, while she was awake. Soon, her condition seemingly improved and she was taken off the ventilator, but her symptoms worsened.

“Within 24 hours, 48 hours, my condition completely worsened,” she told the Columbus Dispatch. But the worst thing was that as COVID-19 is infectious, her family and friends were not allowed to meet her, pushing her to have a “few breakdown moments.”

“I told myself, “This is it, I’m not going to make it thorough,”‘ she said. “Everything in my body, it hurt to breathe, to move, to cough, to anything, it hurt.”

But despite all the pain, she was afraid for her unborn child and wanted her pregnancy to reach the 30 weeks, She requested to go back on the ventilator and be sedated. But, on April 8, just 20 minutes after she was put on a ventilator, her lung collapsed and doctors had only one option- to deliver the baby the next day.

Sites became the first pregnant woman to undergo EMCO by UC Health. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is a ‘near-last resort’ device which the heart and lungs of patients. After the procedure, Sites, with the EMCO machine, was transported to Miami Valley Hospital in a helicopter. She underwent a cesarean section and gave birth to her son at 29 weeks and six days.

‘I have a lot of hallucinations from that time…but the actual EMCO treatment, I don’t recall any of that,’ she said. While the baby is in a neonatal intensive care unit as of now, he is healthy, shows no signs of COVID-19, and will be allowed to be taken home in 4-5 weeks.

“There’s no words. There’s no way to show them the appreciation they deserve. It’s surreal,” Sites said, praising the medical team that took care of her and ensured her recovery when she had less than 40% chances of survival.

Ashley Caraballo has pleaded no contest to charges she faces after being accused of ripping her newborn son from her body. She denied giving birth and claimed that the placental tissue seen was from her pregnancy a year before she was rushed to the hospital. Caraballo could face 12 years behind bars. This is a representational image. Andresr/ Shutterstock

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