Covid-19: Walsall mum with virus meets baby for first time

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image copyrightFamily handout
image captionLeo was born by emergency Caesarean 10 weeks premature on 12 January

A new mum with Covid-19 who could not have life-saving treatment until her baby was delivered has held his hand for the first time at five weeks old.

Ellie Wright, 20, from Walsall, had the virus when she was 30 weeks pregnant and Leo was born by emergency Caesarean 10 weeks premature on 12 January.

His grandmother said the boy, who was in Walsall Manor Hospital, came home last week and was doing "brilliantly".

But she was told rehabilitation for his mum may take up to two years.

Ms Wright has been seriously ill in the critical care unit while fighting the virus and pneumonia, and Leo needed to be on a ventilator.

But the mum, who grandmother Michelle Stankevitch said was sedated for three weeks, got to hold his hand after regaining consciousness.

image copyrightWalsall Healthcare NHS Trust
image captionEllie Wright, who works in B&Q, contracted Covid-19 when she was 30 weeks pregnant

"I said to Ellie 'here's Leo' and she smiled at me and then she'd just about got the strength to lift her left arm and she touched his hand," she said.

"Then when we left, she just cried because she didn't want us to go, but it was an absolute magical moment."

She said her daughter told her on 12 January she was having an emergency Caesarean and she would be put to sleep for three days, but "it wasn't three days, it was three weeks".

At one point, the grandmother said, a doctor told her Ms Wright had taken in "his words... 'a nosedive... you need to prepare yourself'.

"My husband burst into tears," she said.

"She was ventilated... I said to Ellie 'listen to me, you have to fight, you've got a baby boy to come home to and I'm not willing to bury one of my children'.

"I asked if she could hear me. They said she might be able to."

image copyrightFamily handout
image captionLeo needed to be on a ventilator in the hospital's neonatal unit

Due to the effects of spending weeks on a ventilator, Ms Wright had got to learn to eat and drink, speak and walk again.

Her mother said: "It will be physical rehabilitation. Now we've been told this could take up to two years."

Leo, who has been looked after by his grandmother, was born at 4lb 4oz at 15:07 GMT, but was 6lb 4oz last week and "his tiny baby clothes don't fit him any more".

She added: "They're not just hospital staff. They're like angels. It takes a special kind of person to work in intensive care.

"Walsall Manor - top hospital in my opinion. They saved my daughter and they saved my grandson."

image copyrightFamily handout
image captionThe baby was "doing brilliantly", the family said

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