Baby Leah entered the world on April 8 not only 11 weeks early, but while her mother, Adriana Torres, was in a coma at NYU Winthrop Hospital due to the novel coronavirus.
While Adriana eventually recovered and left the hospital, Leah remained hospitalized for seven weeks.
She was nearly double in weight when she was discharged to her family's anxious arms, a terrible situation that turned into a welcome-home celebration.
"This family's struggle to prevail through this pandemic sums up what so much of our country has gone through," said Dr. Nazeeh Hanna, chief of Neonatal Medicine at NYU Winthrop Hospital. "It was not an easy seven weeks. For our hospital, for our NICU, definitely for our nation."
Adriana, from Hempstead, was in the ICU in early April when physicians decided Leah should be delivered early via C-section to try to save the lives of both of them.
But in a hospital overwhelmed with COVID cases, there wasn't even a spare corner of the ICU to resuscitate the baby, who'd be just 29 weeks gestation.
Fortunately, Adriana took a slightly more stable turn, enough to move her to give birth near the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where the baby could be rushed upon birth.
Doctors said the C-section went well, and baby Leah was born at just 2 pounds, 15 ounces -- one day before NYU Winthrop, deemed a "hot spot" in New York State, reached its peak of 663 COVID cases on April 9.
Adriana emerged from her coma on April 10, her 41st birthday, to find out that she had given birth to a beautiful baby girl.
Now, the Torres family has been reunited.
"Going from so bleak, so grim, so difficult, to what we have today is sunshine, is amazing that she's leaving today, when Long Island is re-opening," Dr. Hanna said.
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