A North Texas couple is counting their blessings after a rocky pregnancy. The first-time mom contracted COVID-19 while pregnant. At one point, she was fighting for her life and the life of her unborn child.
New parents Pooja and Jainul Charaniya are cherishing every moment with their two-month-old son, Zayd, after the couple experienced a scary pregnancy.
In April, Charaniya said she had a terrible headache, followed by a fever. The 29-year-old who was 23 weeks pregnant at the time, went to the emergency room and tested positive for COVID-19.
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"I was literally shocked. I asked her like, 'Do you want to run the test again?' because that should not happen with me," said Charaniya. "We were taking full precaution, we had masks on, sanitized, I was home not going out nothing like that."
She said she believes her husband, who was home the week before, caught it from work.
The soon-to-be mom's health deteriorated and breathing became an issue and she was placed in the intensive care unit at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.
"On the 18 of April, they called me in the morning just to inform me that they are going to intubate her," said her husband, Jainul.
"I told the doctors 'try to save my baby.' Like that was my last statement, like please save my baby, I was scared honestly," said Charaniya.
She was placed on a ventilator and intubated for 13 days. Along with her health, doctors were extremely concerned for her unborn child since oxygen needs increase during pregnancy.
"It was very stressful for everyone involved," said Dr. Bannie Tabor M.D., a maternal-fetal medicine specialist with Texas Health Fort Worth.
He along with his team would monitor the baby through an electronic fetal monitoring twice a day. It also helped monitor Charaniya's oxygen levels.
"She was very, very sick, to the point where there were a few days we were concerned that she was going to die and we would have to do a perimortem C-section to save the baby," explained Tabor.
But fortunately, that wasn't the case. After five weeks of battling the coronavirus, Charaniya beat it and was discharged on May 7.
Because she was ill at the beginning of the pandemic, doctors were still learning ways to treat the coronavirus. Charaniya was given a clinical trial of Remdesivir and also received two plasma treatments.
Two months later, Charaniya gave birth to Zayd on July 22. He was five-pounds-one-ounce, healthy and COVID free.
The family said they're grateful to all the doctors, nurses and especially Dr. Tabor for helping keep mom and baby alive while Charaniya fought COVID-19.
After she was discharged, she would see Dr. Tabor every week to keep an eye on the baby.
"I would thank him and say God bless him and he is our angel, especially for my baby and me. We love him," said Charaniya about Dr. Tabor whom she said was the last person she saw before she was intubated.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.