Utah mom sees ‘small miracles’ after getting COVID, delivering baby without knowing

Feb 22, 2022, 10:23 AM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 4:46 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — McKenzie McCombs is still dealing with the traumatic birth of her son but is staying positive by recognizing the small miracles.

The 26-year-old is grateful she contracted COVID-19 this late in the pandemic. She feels doctors knew exactly what to do because of their experience with treating pregnant patients who have complications from the virus.

“I do feel grateful that I got it when I did because they have found more things that work,” McCombs said.

At 28 weeks pregnant, McCombs was rushed to St. Mark’s Hospital with COVID-19 complications. Doctors diagnosed her with hypoxemic respiratory failure, adult respiratory distress syndrome and multiple organ failure. They needed to act fast to save her life and the life of her unborn son.

“I didn’t think it was going to be as bad as it got,” she said. “They put me in a coma and I was paralyzed so my body was just doing nothing. It needed to rest.”

Her team of doctors decided to deliver her unborn son, a moment McKenzie only learned about when she woke up a week later.

“I knew that what I had gone through was traumatic but I didn’t know exactly what had happened or how serious it was and so I was just shocked,” she said.

A week and a half after giving birth, she finally got to meet her newborn son, Coleman, who weighed just 2 pounds, 6 ounces when he was delivered.

“I just look at him and I am in awe because he is a fighter,” she said.

After 16 days of recovering in the hospital, McCombs was able to head home on oxygen. And after 76 days in the NICU, her baby boy was able to join her.

McCombs’ husband, Brycen, said although this has been the toughest trial of their lives, the family has been able to recognize the blessings that have come from this experience.

“We are just grateful for how everything worked out, it could have gone very differently,” he said.

Little Coleman is still recovering with oxygen at home and doctors are not sure how long he will be needing that treatment.

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Utah mom sees ‘small miracles’ after getting COVID, delivering baby without knowing