Texas mom who gave coronavirus to unborn baby waited 20 days to hold her for first time: report

Her family was not allowed to visit her or the newborn during quarantine

A Texas mom who tested positive for COVID-19 and gave the virus to her unborn daughter had to wait nearly three weeks before she could hold her, a Thursday report said.

Wendy Figueroa was admitted to Parkland Hospital in Dallas on April 30 with symptoms of the coronavirus. She tested positive, and two days later, her daughter Alexa was born, USA Today reported.

Within two days, doctors confirmed that Alexa had also tested positive for the virus.

Parkland Hospital in Dallas where Alexa was born with COVID-19. 

Parkland Hospital in Dallas where Alexa was born with COVID-19.  (utsouthwestern.edu)

Dr. Amanda Evans, a pediatric infectious diseases expert at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical center who oversaw a case study on Figueroa, said Alexa likely became infected while in the womb, and not during birth.

The case, published in The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal last month, was one of the first of such cases recorded in the United States, USA Today reported.

Dr. Mambarambath Jaleel, a medical director of the neonatal intensive care unit at Parkland Hospital, said Alexa was born premature and required oxygen but recovered from the virus without any complications.

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Figueroa, meanwhile, spent six days in the hospital and another 14 days at home in quarantine. She could not take her baby home until 20 days after she was born.

“Seeing her through a camera, it’s not the same,” she said. “I would cry watching my little girl through the camera because I would say, ‘I can’t have my little girl.’”

Her husband and three children were not allowed to visit her or Alexa at the hospital during this time.

Figueroa said the infection came as a surprise because she took the pandemic seriously, always wearing a mask and only leaving the house for doctor visits.

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“That’s why I want to tell everyone who’s pregnant to take care of themselves, try to take care as much as you can, because it’s so difficult,” she said.