Coronavirus: Wisconsin woman meets newborn daughter she bore during COVID-19 coma

MADISON, Wis. — It was a reunion nearly three months in the making.

Kelsey Townsend was discharged from University Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, on Thursday and reunited with the newborn daughter she gave birth to while in a novel coronavirus-related coma, WISC-TV reported.

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According to the TV station, Kelsey Townsend was nine months pregnant when she was diagnosed with COVID-19 in October and had been placed in a medically induced coma when her daughter, Lucy, was born Nov. 4.

A statement issued by UW Health confirmed that Townsend’s condition deteriorated quickly after giving birth, and she ultimately spent 75 days on life support systems.

“In December, UW Health doctors determined that Kelsey would need a double lung transplant to survive, and her husband delivered the news to her on Christmas Eve,” the hospital system wrote.

Within days of being added to the transplant waiting list, however, Townend’s condition began improving significantly, the hospital system stated, noting she was moved out of the intensive care unit, taken off the ventilator in mid-January and removed from the transplant waiting list.

“It’s been an emotional roller coaster for sure. So many ups and downs,” Derek Townsend, Kelsey Townsend’s husband, told WITI.

According to the TV station, Kelsey Townsend requires a minimum amount of oxygen support at home and will also require physical therapy, but she has finally been able to hold Lucy and dote on her other three children.

“We don’t know precisely what allowed her lungs to start recovering after nearly two months of severe disease,” Dr. Dan McCarthy, UW Health cardiothoracic surgeon and director of the ECMO program, told WITI.

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