A woman pregnant with twins was put into an induced coma after falling seriously ill with COVID-19 and woke up to find her babies were 16 days old.
Perpetual Uke, a rheumatology consultant at Birmingham City Hospital in England, UK, was around six months pregnant when she began to feel unwell with COVID-19 symptoms in March.
After being advised to self-isolate, her condition worsened. She was admitted to a respiratory ward via the Emergency Department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. Her condition deteriorated and she was quickly transferred to the Critical Care Unit. She was put into an induced coma and her breathing was taken over by a ventilator to help her fight the infection. Daily reviews and scans were taken of her babies while she was in the coma.
Doctors decided it was safer for the unborn twins to be delivered via caesarean section. Sochika Palmer weighed just 770 grams while her brother, Osinachi Pascal, weighed 850 grams, when they were delivered at 26 weeks on 10 April.
Uke’s husband Matthew was able to spend time with his new twins once they were born; however, Uke remained in her coma for another 16 days.
“I was pregnant at 24 to 25 weeks, at that stage, and by the time I woke up, I was so disorientated. I thought I’d lost my pregnancy because I couldn’t see my bump anymore. I was really worried and disorientated,” Uke told Sky News.
The twins were in the neonatal intensive care unit until they were 116 days old.
“The first time I met the twins was very emotional,” Uke told Express & Star. “I was happy that we were all alive but obviously concerned about their severe prematurity, which has its own risks.
“I remain ever grateful to God almighty for using the amazing NICU team in restoring their lives.”
The family were clapped out of the unit by emotional medical staff when they were finally able to leave the hospital.
“Sometimes I look at them in tears. I never knew they would make it. It is amazing what medical professional science can offer,” Uke told Sky News.
England remains in a lockdown until Wednesday 2 December. Eleven regions of Scotland go into lockdown on Friday until 11 December. Northern Ireland’s strict restrictions last until midnight on Thursday 26 November.
More than 53,000 people have officially died from COVID-19 in the UK.