Modern medicine can only do so much to keep people alive when fighting life-threatening cases of COVID-19. For frontline health care workers--that means a lot of heartbreaking moments in Oklahoma ICUs. But that's not how this story ends.
Devisha Long arrived at a Dallas hospital 26 weeks pregnant with a spiraling case of COVID-19. She said that's the last thing she remembered before being placed in a medically induced coma.
“Everything happened so quick, I didn’t really have time to think about anything,” Devisha said.
She was flown by helicopter to Integris Baptist in Oklahoma City.
“The first thing I remember is being in a very strange place with people I did not know, and they’re like, ‘You’re at Integris hospital in Oklahoma City,’” she said.
She quickly discovered doctors in Dallas had done an emergency cesarean, removing her daughter Melanie at 27 weeks old.
She had been taken to Oklahoma City for an open ECMO bed. The bedside machine bypasses the heart and lungs.
“It’s basically the last option that they have to survive. At that point it’s either place them on ECMO or they will more than likely pass,” Devisha’s nurse Taylor Leippe said.
“When you have those cases, you just really don’t know what the outcome is going to be,” nurse Rebecca Mitchell said.
“I’m here, I’m not dead. I’m alive because I’ve got too much stuff to do,” Devisha said in a Facebook video.
When she was finally released to return to her Dallas home, Devisha surprised her two older daughters. “Mommy,” they screamed, “You made it home!”
The video on Facebook caught the eye of Devisha’s Integris physician who shared it with the sixth-floor nurses who looked after Devisha.
“We don’t always get to see those homecoming videos or talk to the families after they get out of the ICU and get home and so that’s probably one of the things that means a lot to us,” Mitchell said.
“It was a breath of fresh air to see that because most of the time that’s not the case up here,” nurse Hannah Place said.
“I was grateful just to still be alive, to be able to be their mommy,” Devisha said.
Devisha said newborn Melaine is still hospitalized in Dallas born 2 pounds 2 ounces, now up to 4 pounds, 13 ounces.