Respiratory therapist with coronavirus gives birth to a daughter while in a medically induced coma

While pregnant, Angela Primachenko went to the hospital for a cough and ended up in a medically-induced coma due to coronavirus. Next thing she knew, she woke up without a pregnant belly in isolation. CNN affiliate KPTV reports.

Posted: Apr 15, 2020 4:20 AM


Angela Primachenko was 27 years old, 34 weeks pregnant, and days into a fight against the coronavirus when she made the decision, with the advice of her doctors, to go into a medically induced coma. When she woke up, her belly was flat and her baby was 5 days old.

"That was emotionally unbelievable," she told CNN. "It was just crazy to have to try to understand what happened the last 10 days, having to puzzle back together your life."

Primachenko lives in Washington, a state that has gotten a lot of attention as the Covid-19 outbreak has grown in the US. It's where the country's first coronavirus case was announced on January 21, where the first coronavirus-related death in the US occurred, and where a nursing home saw dozens of deaths early on in the pandemic.

Primachenko lives far south of where those cases developed, along the state's southern border in Vancouver, a suburb of Portland, Oregon.

Like many who have caught the coronavirus, her symptoms began with a cough that escalated to a fever that wasn't going away, she recalled.

Primachenko, a respiratory therapist at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center, hadn't been going to work and doesn't know how she would've caught the coronavirus.

"She knew the risk," said Oksana Luiten, her twin sister. "She took every precaution."

Primachenko's family encouraged her to get tested, and in the two days she waited for the result, she progressively got worse.

It was positive.

"Being a respiratory therapist -- just being a human, I guess -- I knew I couldn't keep breathing the way I was and survive," she said.

On March 26, Primachenko went into the ICU of the hospital that employs her, her sister said. Three days later, she was put on a ventilator, the same machine she assists doctors with at work.

"When you're that sick, you're just fighting for your life," Primachenko said. "My focus wasn't on fear; it was just on getting through it."

As Primachenko lay comatose in her hospital room, her medical team had an hourslong meeting to decide how to handle her care -- and her pregnancy. Her doctors suggested they induce labor to give her lungs more space and her body more nutrients, according to her sister.

Primachenko's husband, David, gave the doctors permission, 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 later learned, on the internet, means "breath of life."

Days later, the coronavirus still gripped Angela Primachenko, and she was waning physically on April 5.

"We were actually scared we were going to lose our sister that day," Luiten said. The twins are two of 10 siblings.

But the next day, Primachenko turned a corner, was extubated, and left the ICU. As her bed wheeled down the hall, medical staff clapped and cheered, a video she posted on social media shows. Behind a white face mask, she smiled.

Now at home, Primachenko has been able to hug her husband and see her 11-month-old daughter Emily while wearing a mask. But Ava is still in the NICU, and Primachenko can't meet her until she tests negative for the coronavirus.

"I just want to hold her and hug her and love on her and catch up on the first few weeks I missed out on her," said Primachenko, who also told her story to CNN affiliate KPTV.

Until then, the mother is relying on her family's faith, as well as the prayers she received from people she knows -- and many she doesn't -- to get her through this season of life.

"I believe because of the community and the people and everyone that believed in me," she said, "God just did a miracle to have me and my baby be healthy through this."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313161

Reported Deaths: 3594
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah51245642
Washington34995276
Marion32577393
Clackamas26570271
Lane23989246
Jackson20977257
Deschutes16623102
Umatilla12602125
Douglas10712188
Linn1046886
Josephine8659165
Yamhill744999
Klamath643491
Polk623570
Malheur479467
Benton461927
Coos412069
Columbia324237
Jefferson313746
Lincoln276330
Union272737
Wasco239039
Crook212338
Clatsop211725
Tillamook181523
Baker174421
Morrow167921
Curry166817
Hood River163035
Harney78916
Grant7558
Lake6768
Wallowa50811
Gilliam1374
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 4644566

Reported Deaths: 68019
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Los Angeles144512125852
Riverside3579884804
San Diego3495814009
San Bernardino3472035506
Orange3146225354
Sacramento1503072089
Santa Clara1405641841
Fresno1358611888
Kern1358421515
Alameda1162141329
Ventura976901120
San Joaquin973871615
Contra Costa95727924
Stanislaus806991234
Tulare72969896
San Mateo52239607
San Francisco51907605
Monterey49465565
Solano44151312
Santa Barbara43112500
Sonoma39441378
Merced39370535
Placer36487364
Imperial34261755
Kings30124284
San Luis Obispo28300313
Madera21707258
Butte21307230
Shasta20683276
Santa Cruz20151211
Yolo19143239
Marin17106242
El Dorado16004127
Sutter13094153
Napa1226895
Yuba926061
Nevada847685
Humboldt829587
Tehama823784
San Benito709067
Mendocino685575
Lassen637627
Tuolumne615393
Lake603687
Amador492259
Glenn398030
Siskiyou389541
Calaveras342266
Del Norte336034
Colusa290918
Inyo166539
Mono14935
Plumas12406
Mariposa99712
Trinity72010
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
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