North Texas mom battling COVID-19 meets newborn son 5 weeks after delivery

(Medical City McKinney)

Courtney Thomas doesn’t remember much about the day her son, Briggs, was born. But the day she met him five weeks later was a surprise she’ll never forget thanks to caring NICU and ICU nurses.

According to Medical City McKinney, doctors were forced to deliver Briggs seven weeks early because COVID-19 had caused Courtney’s oxygen levels to drop, and the baby was in distress.

He was born via emergency c-section the same day his mom was placed on a ventilator. 

Courtney’s ICU nurses began keeping a journal for her so that she could read about Briggs’ birth and development once she woke up from her medically induced coma, the hospital said.

They worked with Briggs’ NICU nurses to coordinate care – bringing them both the same sound machine so they could listen to calming music together and even sharing blankets so they could feel close to one another.

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(Medical City McKinney)

The newborn spent several weeks in Medical City McKinney’s NICU with just his father visiting.

"The NICU nurses taught me everything I needed to know. They taught me how to change diapers, mix formula, give Briggs tummy time, and what stretches and exercises I should do with him once he was home," said Bryan Thomas. "They had me squared away, and by the time he was discharged, I was comfortable taking him home."

Briggs went home with his dad while his mom was still fighting for her life in the ICU.

Her condition began to improve a few weeks later and the ventilator was finally removed.

That’s when the nurses organized a surprise meeting for Courtney and Briggs. She got to hold her 5-week-old baby for the first time.

"I thought I was going for an X-ray, but I was wheeled into a labor and delivery room, and my baby and husband were there," Courtney said. "I was so overwhelmed with emotion. It was the most amazing thing ever."

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(Medical City McKinney)

Courtney’s COVID-19 recovery continued at Medical City McKinney’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Institute. There she practiced carrying a weighted doll so she would have the strength to carry Briggs. She had to work on her fine motor skills so she could do thinks like button his clothes and change his diaper.

"I was motivated to go home. I wanted to go home and be with my baby. I wanted those calm moments when Briggs could sleep in my arms. I didn’t want to miss any more time," she said.

Courtney and Briggs are now both back home and doing well. 

The Thomas’ said they are grateful for all the love and support their nurses provided during such a challenging time in their lives.

(Medical City McKinney)


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