SC mom recovers from COVID-19 after giving birth

SC mom recovers from COVID-19 after giving birth
Kyan Barnes, John Sjursen and their baby, Zoey, are reunited after Barnes recovered from the flu and COVID-19. Zoey had to be born early because of her mother's condition. (Source: WYFF)

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WYFF) - One South Carolina family is home and healthy after a close call with COVID-19.

Kyan Barnes was 33 weeks pregnant when her legs started to hurt. Doctors found she was dehydrated; she had COVID-19 and the flu.

“My body was so hot - they were like ‘your temperature it’s just crazy,” Barnes said. “They tested for flu and COVID and next thing you know we’re having a baby and I’m like, ‘Wait a minute we’re not ready yet!’”

Baby Zoey had to be born seven weeks early at 3 pounds, 5 ounces. The preemie didn’t have the virus, but was so tiny she had to be whisked away to the NICU.

Mom’s respiratory health was getting worse. She had to be transferred to a different hospital, and John Sjursen, Barnes’ fiancé and Zoey’s dad, had to isolate at home.

“It really opens my eyes up quite a bit because she’s the most cautious person when it comes to having all the PPE on you, being out in the public and sanitizing and all that,” Sjursen said. “To see her what happened to her... she almost died on her birthday it was crazy.”

For weeks, the family had to be apart, little Zoey stayed in the NICU as Barnes fought for her life.

“All families do better when they’re with their baby,” Bon Secours St. Francis Health System NICU Medical Director Dr. Sue Miller said. “In this case, as a neonatologist and as a mom myself, our hearts were broken thinking she can’t see her baby, neither of them could see the baby.”

Bon Secours medical teams worked together to reunite the three over FaceTime.

Barnes said seeing her daughter pushed her to not let the coronavirus take her from her family.

“I don’t know what happened, but it was a 360 turn,” she said. “I was just like this is looking pretty bad, K... to me being up an alert, doing better and being able to be discharged.”

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