Tennessee woman gives birth while in a coma during COVID-19 battle


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — A Tennessee woman was diagnosed with COVID-19 then underwent a C-section and gave birth while in a medically induced coma on a ventilator.

Susie Espinoza is sharing her incredible story and a message to the Memphis community after the birth of her baby boy Brandon.

Espinoza is a mother of four and is undergoing outpatient rehab at Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital Memphis.

“I asked God, ‘Please let me come back to my kids,’” she said.

Espinoza’s tested positive for COVID-19 when she was 27 weeks pregnant. She quickly became so sick and knew she had to go to the hospital. 

“I put the kids to bed before I left, but of course it crossed my mind, would I come back to see them?” she said. “But I couldn’t breathe, I was so sick.”

Her last memory was being wheeled down a hospital hallway. She was placed on a ventilator. 

Weeks later she woke up, realizing she had undergone a C-section to give birth to healthy baby Brandon.

“I couldn’t move. I was paralyzed at that moment,” she said.

She spent more than 70 days in the hospital. 

The active 37-year-old now goes to rehab to work on her strength and treat nerve damage she’s lost. She’s friends with the doctors, nurses, and physical therapists who help her. 

”I think she’s bounced back beautifully,” said Kristen Holmes, her physical therapist.

Her nurse, Stacie Wirth, admires Espinoza’s strength, calling her an inspiration.

“I mean, that’s what a mom does. She puts herself last,” Wirth said. “To see her walk now is amazing. It’s nothing short of a miracle.”

Showing her scars, Espinoza now calls her life a blessing. She says she took every precaution to protect herself from the virus, and now has a warning. 

“I mean these are my battle scars and people are not taking this serious, they’re not. And I see parties, people gathering and people should take it serious,” she said.

Espinoza says she especially wants to get the message of safety out to the Hispanic community, where she believes there needs to be more education and outreach. She also thanks all of the nurses and doctors who have taken care of her.

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