A man fought with all he had and never lost hope about his wife waking up from this nightmare. Thankfully, he waited for a Christmas miracle to come around!
The Worst News of Her Life
In August of 2021, Autumn Carver, a soon-to-be mom of three, received what would most probably become the worst news of her life. She found out that she was COVID-19 positive when she was pregnant with her son!
An Unvaccinated Mom
Unfortunately, Autumn was not vaccinated because she feared getting the vaccine would repeat the previous miscarriages she suffered.
However, she later found out that her illness would become much more severe than she initially expected. What should have been a few days of recovery would turn into years!
In September 2021, a mere month after learning she had the virus, the CDC issued a health advisory telling people that anyone currently pregnant, recently pregnant, or considering getting pregnant should get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The advisory said it would “prevent severe illness, death, and pregnancy complications.” Sadly, it was too late for Autumn.
An Emergency C-Section
Because of her condition, Autumn was immediately hospitalized. Then, she was required to get an emergency C-section and give birth to her baby boy, Huxley, at 33 weeks.
A Healthy Baby
Despite Autumn’s illness, thankfully, Huxley was born healthy. Sadly, there was no way he could be held by his mom at the moment.
Going On ECMO
Shortly after Autumn gave birth to Huxley, she needed to be placed on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine, or ECMO.
ECMO removes carbon dioxide and adds oxygen through a heart-lung machine before returning it to one’s body tissues. It’s life support commonly used in critical care situations.
A Significant Help
According to the National Institutes of Health, ECMO is beneficial to patients suffering from the COVID-19 virus.
Their study said, “ECMO could be beneficial in patients with COVID-19. The reported mortality rate was 39%. This systematic analysis can provide clinical advice in the current era and ongoing pandemic.”
A Supportive Husband
Thankfully, Autumn wasn’t alone in this journey. Her husband, Zach Carver, was with her every step of the way.
Threats to Her Life
Sadly, because she showed no improvement, some doctors had advised Zach to cut off her life support.
He said, “I was told that she had zero percent chance of survival. I mean, it was the worst day of my life.”
Even so, Zach didn’t lose hope. He would post updates of Autumn’s story on Facebook and ask for “prayers” for his wife.
Much-Needed Lung Transplant
After two months of being on ECMO, Autumn was transferred from IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. She was set to receive a lung transplant in October.
Dr. Ankit Bharat, chief of thoracic surgery, told PEOPLE, “When we took on Autumn, the probability was pretty low that she would get better because she had been on the ventilator and ECMO for an extended period of time.”
The Odds That Were Stacked Against Her
Dr. Bharat explained that if someone had been on ECMO for over a month, their probability of coming off without something like a lung transplant would be less than five percent.
However, with the help of everyone’s prayers, Autumn was making progress after a couple of tweaks to the ECMO and more time in recovery. So, Dr. Bharat and his team decided to “hold off” on the transplant to see if Autumn could recover on her own.
A Twist of Fate
After their two-month-long nightmare, Autumn woke up on October 19, 2021. It was the first time she got to hold her newborn son, and it’s safe to say that it was a long time coming.
Then, on November 3, 2021, according to Zach’s Facebook post, Autumn was able to “break out of the ICU,” and she was also taken off the ECMO machine. She, however, had to remain in the hospital to continue her recovery journey.
A Christmas Miracle
Autumn started going to physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Then, by December 1, 2021, almost a month after she left the ICU and after 99 days of recovery, she was able to go home with her husband and Huxley, and she also got to see her two daughters.
It was nothing short of a Christmas miracle!
One for the Books
Autumn’s doctors noted that Autumn only had 40% of her lung capacity left, and she had some nerve damage in her leg. However, everything aside, for her doctors, her recovery was a “miracle.”
Dr. Bharat told Good Morning America, “I think using the word ‘miraculous’ is a very appropriate word. She’s not going to get her lung function back to where it was before COVID-19 hit her, but she’ll be able to lead a normal life.”
The Community’s Suggestions
Users find Autumn’s story inspiring. It’s something that provides hope for dire and bleak days.
One man wrote, “Good call on the part of the husband. Sometimes there are happy endings, and that helps the rest of us keep going.”
Another commented, “Good things do happen to good people, maybe not as much as it should, but he had faith—and that’s what was needed.”
Did Autumn’s story inspire you? What would you do if you were in her husband’s shoes?
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