Mom-of-2 Finally Leaves Hospital After 8-Month Battle With Covid Complications
When Marissa Fuentes, 29, of Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, a mom of two, got the virus while pregnant, she wound up having to get hospitalized for eight straight months. But by “a miracle,” as described by her doctors, she was able to go home from the rehabilitation facility just in time to spend Thanksgiving with her family on November 24.
“Thanksgiving felt very surreal because I was able to sit at the table with my entire family,” Fuentes told “Good Morning America.” “I wanted to take every single moment in and I didn’t want the day to end because it was so incredible.”
Fuentes was admitted to the hospital after complaining of shortness of breath and lightheadedness when she was 32 weeks pregnant. There, she tested positive for COVID-19 and had to be transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) where, just two days later, had to receive an emergency C-section. Her baby, Enzo, was delivered two months early.
Fuentes, who was not vaccinated due to the vaccine not being fully recommended for pregnant women at the time, had to be put on a ventilator and an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine to help her recover.
To make matters worse, while she was on the ECMO, Enzo was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a genetic disease (completely unrelated to COVID-19, but a disorder that affects the nervous system). That meant her husband, Adrian, was in charge of making all of the health decisions regarding both Marissa and Enzo.
“I can’t tell you how many phone calls I made every single today to check in on the two of them. Everything was minute by minute, hour by hour,” he said. “The ECMO was keeping my wife alive while the SMA was killing my son. “It was extremely scary. There’s just no other way to put it. It was terrifying.”
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Thankfully, Enzo was able to be treated and, after 54 days in the hospital, he was discharged on his original due date of June 14. However, he still wasn’t able to meet his mother for another three months—in September, when she woke up from being sedated. That was also the day she was able to see her firstborn, her 3-year-old Ellianna.
“Seeing them come through the door was literally everything I could have ever asked for. My eyes filled with tears,” she said. “I was able to hold them. It was something that I’ll never forget.”
Recovery was not an easy road. “There were a lot of hard days where I cried thinking nothing would get better,” she said. “I had to relearn everything. The first time I sat on the side of the bed it took eight people to sit me up. I had to learn how to stand again. I had to learn how to walk again. I had to learn how to get myself dressed and take care of myself. I had to learn how to talk because I still had the [breathing tube] in.”
Months later, in November, Fuentes was transferred to Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, where she told her doctor that she wanted “o be home for Thanksgiving. “He kind of looked at me like I was crazy and said, ‘That’s only two weeks away,’” she said.
Experts determined that she probably wasn’t going to be able to get back home until the earliest June or July of 2022—but again, Fuentes is one determined lady…and Thanksgiving it was.
“She is why we do what we do,” said Barbara Wadsworth, COO and chief nursing officer of Main Line Health. “She’s a miracle.”
Fuentes remains on oxygen and needs a walker to get around. She also receives occupational and physical therapy, but she is much on her way to a full recovery. She is hoping to be recovered completely by Christmas, which is her all-time favorite holiday.
We think she can do it! How amazing is the perseverance of this woman?