A mother who gave birth while battling Covid-19 on a ventilator has beaten the virus.
Megan Sites, 27, was seven months pregnant with her second child when she took herself to Joint Township’s emergency department in Ohio on April 1 after she was having difficulty breathing and was unable to lie flat.
Testing uncovered that her lungs had been clotted with coronavirus and she was put on a ventilator while she was still awake. She said she could feel the tube scrape into her trachea as it was inserted. She was later sent to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.
Sites’s condition briefly improved, so the breathing machine was removed – but her condition then took a turn for the worse.
‘Within 24 hours, 48 hours, my condition completely worsened,’ she told the Columbus Dispatch.
Sites said she was unable to see her husband Donny, her parents, in-laws, or friends because of hospital restrictions due to the outbreak.
‘I had 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.’
She asked hospital staff if she could go back on the ventilator, but this time she wanted to be sedated.
On April 8, doctors told Megan’s husband that the ventilator could help her get her pregnancy to 30 weeks. However, 20 minutes later he received a devastating call back from doctors that his wife’s lung had collapsed.
To save her, doctors said they had to deliver the baby the next day.
Sites had to undergo extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), which is a ‘near-last resort’ device that temporarily replaces the heart and lungs of patients, according to Dr Suzanne Bennett, a UC Health critical care anesthesiologist.
UC Health had reportedly never put a pregnant woman on an EMCO machine, but Sites was a good candidate.
Sites was then flown with the ECMO machine in a helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital where she underwent a cesarean section to deliver her son at 29 weeks and six days.
The baby was then taken to a neonatal intensive care unit. When she woke up she had no recollection of the delivery because of the sedation, she said.
‘I have a lot of hallucinations from that time…but the actual ECMO treatment, I don’t recall any of that,’ she said.
She now credits her medical team and the ECMO treatment for saving her life after she said her husband was told she had less than a 40% chance at survival.
‘It’s a miracle that I’m sitting here talking to you now,’ she said.
After ten days, Sites was finally able to see her baby, named Jameson, who is still in the NICU, although doctors said he is healthy with no signs of coronavirus.