COVID-19 Complications Kept a Mother and Her Newborn Son Apart for 7 Weeks – But Wasn’t Going to Keep Them Apart Forever

The COVID-19 pandemic was a moment in time that none of us will get back and most of us wish never happened – but it did. The disease tormented families around the world for nearly three years – primarily between December 2019 and May 2023 – but the fight isn’t completely over and still requires attention. 

Today, we’re going to talk about one of those tragic stories from 2021 (at the heart of the pandemic), but don’t worry – this one has a happy ending. It revolves around Autumn Carver, who was 33 weeks pregnant with her third child when she contracted COVID-19 in August 2021. Things went south very fast. 

The disease worsened very quickly and she was hospitalized on August 26 – it was so bad that she was placed on a ventilator to help her breathe. Despite being seven weeks away from her due date, Carver was forced to give birth to her son, Huxley, in an emergency Cesarean section. The birth was a success.

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“It was very emotional, for myself and of course her parents and of course for Autumn. It’s why she is fighting so hard, so she can get home to our kids,” her husband, Zach Carver, said in an October 2021 interview with Good Morning America. It wasn’t an easy fight for Autumn Carver, but she never gave up.

After giving birth to her son, Autumn was placed on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine – which gave her lungs and heart an opportunity to rest and heal. She spent the next seven weeks sedated and hooked up to machines, but was unable to meet her son while she recovered. 

Her health started to improve in early October when doctors started weaning her off the sedation. It wasn’t long before she got her first look at being a mother of three. On October 19, she met her son for the first time since his birth nearly two months prior – it was a long two months, but it was finally here. 

“It’s been great to talk to her every day and talk about what she wants when she gets out of here,” Zach said in his interview with GMA, which was published on October 28. “We went from she’s going to die, to she’s going to need a full lung transplant to she’s going to go home. It’s an absolute miracle.”

COVID-19 Complications Kept Autumn in the Hospital for 100 Days

Autumn Carver ended up spending another seven weeks in the hospital after meeting her son – who was born healthy – for the first time. Of all the things motivating her to stay strong throughout her COVID-19 battle, getting home safe and healthy was perhaps the most important – and she ultimately prevailed. 

The newly-minted mother of three returned home to her family on December 1, 2021 after spending 100 days in the hospital due to COVID-19 complications. Her husband was by her side every step of the way and credited the grandparents for helping to take care of their kids while he supported her in the hospital.

“Having my whole family under one roof for the first time was, I don’t have words to put on that,” Zach said during a follow-up interview with GMA just one week before Christmas. Happy and joyful, they don’t compare to what I really feel. We’re just all so happy to be together, especially right before Christmas.”

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One of the doctors who treated Autumn Carver described her recovery as ‘miraculous’ – especially considering her husband was told on numerous occasions that she might not make it. Nonetheless, she’s alive to tell the tale and her three children now have a healthy mother to spend all their time with.

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