TURLOCK, Calif. (KTXL) – With his mother infected with COVID-19, baby Sergio’s premature birth is nothing short of a miracle.
“He came in at 3 pounds, 11 ounces,” COVID-19 survivor Jeseenia Lizarraga told FOX40.
Sergio weighed-in small but tested negative for the novel coronavirus.
His journey home would take weeks. The same would be true for Lizarraga, who had been placed in a medically-induced coma.
“I did not know what the outcome was going to be,” recalled Lizarraga. “I don’t know what was going to happen with me. I didn’t know what was going to happen with the baby.”
Lizarraga is a medical assistant and told FOX40 a coworker unknowingly exposed her to the virus in late April.
In a matter of days, she was lethargic, had difficulty breathing and had a fever.
“It was a unbearable chest pain that I just couldn’t deal with,” said Lizarraga.
At first, she thought it was pneumonia brought on by her asthma but tests would prove she had COVID-19.
“At that time, there wasn’t a lot of options for a pregnant woman with positive COVIDs,” said LIzarraga
Because of the hospital’s limitations, she said she was transferred from Emanuel Hospital in Turlock to UCSF Medical Center, where doctors felt the best way to save both mom and baby’s lives was to deliver Sergio 11 weeks prematurely.
Sergio was born on April 5. Eleven days would pass until his mother awoke.
“At one point, my body wasn’t even responding to treatment. I was maxed out on oxygen, I was maxed out through the nose, through the mouth. I was on 30 liters of oxygen,” recalled Lizarraga.
Once she opened her eyes from her hospital bed, she told FOX40 she saw a letter with her son’s footprints on it.
“So just seeing that just broke my heart because it’s like he was born and I didn’t even know,” said Lizarraga.
After a clean bill of health, almost five weeks later on May 10, baby Sergio was in her arms.
“The first time I physically got to hold him was May 10th, which is in Mexico, Mother’s Day. That was my Mother’s Day for me,” said Lizarraga.
She’s now out of the hospital, back home with her daughters, boyfriend and little Sergio in Turlock.
“Recovery, it takes time. Take it easy, one day at a time, and take it from there,” said Lizarraga.
Lizarraga said her 8-year-old daughter had tested positive for COVID-19 but had been asymptotic and is finally out of quarantine.
“Once someone that you know, that you love, gets it, you’re going to know what COVID is. It’s real,” said Lizarraga.
Everyone else in her family tested negative for the virus.