The family of a Minnesota mother who gave birth while battling the coronavirus on a ventilator advocates a transfer to a hospital that can give her life-saving treatment.
Aurora Chacon Esparza, 35, started showing coronavirus symptoms in early June and was taken to North Memorial Hospital in Brooklyn Center, where she was placed on a ventilator.
On June 23, doctors were concerned that her baby was not getting enough oxygen and said she needed an emergency C-section even though she was only 30 weeks pregnant.
They delivered a healthy girl named Andrea ten weeks early, but Esparza remains on ventilation for 21 days after admission.
Aurora Chacon Esparza, 35, has been on a ventilator for 21 days at a Minnesota hospital at a Minnesota hospital. There she gave birth to a girl named Andrea (photo)
Juan Duran (photo above left with Esparza) said they believed her trip to the hospital would be short because the young mother was healthy when she first started showing symptoms
The condition of the young mother is worsening and doctors have recommended that an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine – which will perform the function of the heart and lungs outside the body – is the only other option.
However, North Memorial Hospital is not an ECMO center and all requests to be taken to another hospital for treatment have been rejected.
“She’s one of the strongest people I’ve ever known. That’s why I believe she’ll get through this. She’s going to make it, ”said her seven-year-old husband, Juan Duran Fox 9.
Duran first believed that his wife’s trip to the hospital would be short-lived, as the young mother, who already had two children, was healthy when she started showing coronavirus symptoms.
She went to the hospital when she started coughing non-stop and had trouble breathing and was placed on a ventilator on June 19.
“She is a 35-year-old healthy woman with no pre-existing conditions,” Duran said. “We never thought this could happen to our family.”
Four days later, the doctors decided to perform the Caesarean section for both mother and baby.
“Then it hit me. I thought, “okay, she’ll get through this for a few days in the hospital.” But when I received that call, it just hit me, “her husband added.
Baby Andrea was born 10 weeks premature from emergency C-section, but is healthy
Aurora Chacon Esparza, 35, (left) is fighting coronavirus for her life in a Minnesota hospital. Her family (husband Juan and the oldest two children depicted) are arguing for a transfer to another hospital that could offer her potentially life-saving treatment
Esparza, who already had a son, 1 and daughter, 7, was only 30 weeks pregnant
Duran said that although his wife is on a ventilator, he can still see and hear and is somewhat alert.
Baby Andrea is now in the NICU and continues to get stronger, but Esparza never met her, according to KARE 11.
“She’s four pounds, two ounces now, and her heart is doing great,” Duran said. “She can breathe herself. She eats, she laughs, she cries. ‘
However, concerns are growing for her mother as the family begs for the treatment that could potentially bring her home and healthy to her newborn, 1-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter.
“About three days ago, [Aurora] started to get worse, “Duran said. “The fan was at 100 percent and the oxygen keeps going down, down, down.”
North Memorial Hospital has said it is working with other hospitals to coax Esparza so she can get the ECMO machine, which is a form of life support treatment.
The North Medical hospital has said it does not provide the treatment that can save Esparza
Her husband Juan Duran has said that he will continue to fight for a transfer despite the risks
“North Memorial Health has partnered with local and regional health care systems to care for patients who would benefit from ECMO, a highly specialized service typically offered only at ECMO centers,” they said in a statement to Fox.
“We do not offer ECMO as long-term or ongoing treatment that would be required to treat COVID-19, but we do use it for short-term emergency care as part of our trauma and cardiovascular surgery programs, if needed.
“ECMO centers have strict criteria for accepting referrals from patients, and our medical teams work closely with these partners to ensure our patients have access to the care they need.”
Still, doctors have warned the family that transfer requests are declined because Esparza has been on a ventilator for too long.
Aurora Chacon Esparza has been married to Juan Duran for seven years and they have three children together – newborn Andrea, a one-year-old son and a seven-year-old daughter.
Esparza’s condition is worsening, and doctors have said that an ECMO machine – which will perform the function of the heart and lungs outside the body – is the only other option available. Esparza is depicted with her husband Juan, top left, and daughter, top right
“Aurora’s doctor told me it was because she was on the ventilator too long,” Duran said.
“I know it’s a small chance, but we want to do everything possible. We want to have all the resources available, even if it’s a one percent chance. ‘
“I know there are major risks, but right now the ECMO machine is the best option to save her life. I was told she could have a bleed, lose a lot of blood because of the caesarean section. ‘
Despite those risks, Duran said he will continue to push for her transfer.
“She’s fighting and we want to give her all the opportunities and resources she needs to survive and be with her kids,” he said.
Duran added that he hopes others will realize the dangers of the coronavirus as soon as they hear his family’s story.
“Be careful because you can be healthy like my wife and still end up on the ventilator at the ICU,” he warned.