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Mother meets her new-born daughter three months after giving birth in COVID coma

A mother came face to face for the first time nearly three months after giving birth.

32-year-old, Kelsey Townsend gave birth to her fourth child, Lucy while in a medically-induced coma with COVID-19 via a caesarean section on November 4.

The Wisconsin woman ended up spending 75 days on life and lung support.




Townsend finally met Lucy on January 27, the day Kelsey was discharged from University Hospital in Madison.

“We instantly bonded when we met. She gave me a great big smile and looked at me like she knew exactly who I was and that made me feel just so happy,” she said.

Dr. Jennifer Krupp, a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist and the Women’s and Newborn Health Medical Director for SSM Health Wisconsin Region, said it has been rare for the hospital to deliver a baby to a mother so sick with COVID-19.



Kelsey Townsend’s oxygen saturation was very low when she arrived at the hospital — so low that a fetus’ brain and other organs could be damaged — and her skin was tinged grey and blue, Dr. Thomas Littlefield said via email Wednesday, so her baby had to be delivered as soon as possible.

Townsend’s husband, Derek Townsend, described the experience as a “big roller coaster.”

“There was many, many nights that I would get phone calls late at night and into the early morning, and the doctors kind of informed me that they’ve done all that they can to support Kelsey and they’re having a hard time stabilizing,” he said. “So there was many times that we thought we were going to lose her.”

“The past three months with Lucy, you know, her head is always moving and she’s always looking. And I told Kelsey that I believe she’s just constantly looking for, for her,” he said.

The pair contracted COVID-19 despite taking precautions, Derek Townsend said. As he got better, his wife got worse. That’s when they went to the hospital.

“Family is everything to me,” Kelsey Townsend said. “So I have everything to live for right here and coming home. There was no question that I wouldn’t.”