Angela Primachenko was 27 years old, 34 weeks pregnant and had been fighting the coronavirus for days when she decided, with the advice of her doctors, to fall into a coma of medical origin. When she woke up, her stomach was flat and her baby was five days old.
“It was emotionally incredible,” she told CNN. “It was just crazy to have to try to understand what has happened in the past 10 days, to have to rebuild your life. “
Primachenko lives in Washington, a state that received a lot of attention as the COVID-19 epidemic developed in the United States. and where a nursing home experienced dozens of deaths at the start of the pandemic.
Primachenko lives far south of where these cases developed, along the state’s southern border in Vancouver, a suburb of Portland, Ore.
Like many who caught the coronavirus, its symptoms started with a cough that degenerated into a fever that did not go away, she recalls.
Primachenko, a respiratory therapist at the Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center, was not going to work and does not know how she would have gotten the coronavirus.
“She knew the risk,” said Oksana Luiten, her twin sister. “She took all the precautions. “
Primachenko’s family encouraged her to get tested and within two days of waiting for the result, she gradually got worse.
It was positive.
“As a respiratory therapist – I’m just a human being, I guess – I knew I couldn’t continue to breathe the way I was and survive,” she said.
On March 26, Primashenko went to intensive care at the hospital that employs him, his sister said. Three days later, she was put on a ventilator, the same machine with which she helps doctors at work.
“When you are sick, you are fighting for your life,” said Primashenko. “I didn’t focus on fear, it was just about overcoming it.
While Primachenko was in a coma in his hospital room, his medical team had an hour-long meeting to decide how to manage his care – and his pregnancy. According to her sister, her doctors suggested that they encourage work to give her lungs more space and her body more nutrients.
Primachenko’s husband David gave permission to the doctors, and a healthy girl was delivered vaginally on April 1, Primachenko said. David called her Ava, a name he knew his wife loved and a name they learned later on the Internet, means “breath of life”.
A few days later, the coronavirus still gripped Angela Primachenko and she physically declined on April 5.
“We were actually afraid of losing our sister that day,” said Luiten. The twins are two of 10 siblings.
But the next day, Primachenko turned a corner, was extubated and left intensive care. As her bed rolled down the hall, medical staff clapped and cheered, a video they posted on social media. Behind a white mask, she smiles.
Now at home, Primachenko was able to kiss her husband and see her 11-month-old daughter, Emily, while wearing a mask. But Ava is still in the NICU, and Primachenko cannot meet her until she tests negative for the coronavirus.
“I just want to hold her, hug her and love her and catch up on the first few weeks I missed,” said Primachenko, who also told his story to the CNN affiliate , KPTV.
Until then, the mother relies on her family’s faith, as well as the prayers she has received from people she knows – and many she doesn’t know – to get her through this season of life.
“I believe because of the community and the people and everyone who believed in me,” she said, “God made a miracle so that my baby and I would be healthy because of it.” “