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U.S. woman gives birth while in coronavirus coma: ‘She’s a fighter’

Rocio Casalduc, 20, gave birth to her second child while in a medically induced coronavirus coma.
Rocio Casalduc, 20, gave birth to her second child while in a medically induced coronavirus coma. Rocio Casalduc / Facebook

A New Hampshire mom is alive and well after giving birth to her daughter while in a coronavirus coma.

Rocio Casalduc, 20, was in for the surprise of her life after waking up from a coma to meet her newborn baby girl, Victoria, per WMUR-TV.

She had developed a dry cough during her second pregnancy. On May 18, she was taken to the hospital and tested positive for the highly contagious respiratory virus.

“I was COVID-positive and that’s when I just dropped,” she told the broadcast station. “I couldn’t even think I was so nervous.”

Read more: Effects of coronavirus on pregnancy still mostly unknown, Canadian researchers say

“If I had to choose between me or my daughter’s life, who would I choose?” she continued. “I just started to cry.”

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She pleaded with doctors to save her baby’s life before she was put into a coma and intubated to save her life, Casalduc told CNN.

Weeks later, she woke up at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and learned her baby had survived after being born three months premature.

“I’m like, wow, this is amazing. I’m so thankful that I’m alive,” she said.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus:  A COVID-19 birth story' Coronavirus: A COVID-19 birth story
Coronavirus: A COVID-19 birth story

The Lebanon, N.H., hospital shared her inspiring story on Facebook, along with moving photographs of a masked Casalduc holding her new baby girl.

“Rocio was in a coma, intubated and pregnant,” the hospital wrote on Facebook. “While being cared for in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Rocio, still in a coma, delivered her daughter, Victoria, at 28 weeks.”

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Little Victoria is still recovering in the hospital, but her mom says “she’s a fighter.”

“I just told them … I’m not, not going to let her leave so soon. We’re going to fight. She’s a fighter just like me,” Casalduc told CNN.

“Up to this day today, she’s still fighting. She’s still a little sick, but she’s like me: she’s a fighter.”

Casalduc’s mom, sister, boyfriend and baby son had all contracted the virus too, but made full recoveries.

Read more: ‘The unknowns’ — Giving birth amidst the worldwide coronavirus pandemic

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says pregnant women with COVID-19 have the same mortality rate as non-pregnant women, but likely will require hospitalization.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

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