VANCOUVER, Wash. (KPTV/CNN) - A respiratory therapist and new mom from Washington has returned home after spending weeks in the hospital fighting COVID-19 and even delivering her baby while in a medically induced coma.
Angela Primachenko, who works as a respiratory therapist, says the last several weeks have been a blur. After she contracted COVID-19, a visit to Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center in Vancouver, Washington, turned into a 17-day stay, fighting for her life and that of her unborn child.
The nightmare experience started with a cough in late March, and then, Primachenko started having a hard time breathing at night. Not long after, she tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted to the hospital where she also works.
Primachenko says her job put her in a unique situation because she could predict what was going to happen in her care.
“I’m like, ‘I’m probably going to end up on a ventilator because I can’t breathe. I just can’t catch my breath,’” she said.
Unfortunately, Primachenko was correct, and she ended up on a ventilator and in a medically induced coma while fighting the virus. Her twin sister, Oksana Luiten, wasn’t sure she would survive.
“All of us were just like, ‘God, if you don’t come through, we might lose our sister,’” Luiten said.
Even as Primachenko remained in the coma, doctors delivered her daughter, Ava, at 34 weeks on April 1. The little girl’s name means “breath of life.”
“I just really like it. I think Ava is just such a beautiful name. We did not expect to go down this road, but sure enough, she ended up being our little breath of life," Primachenko said.
It was touch and go for the new mother after delivery, but eventually, she was taken off the ventilator and started breathing on her. She has been able to return home; though, Ava is still in the hospital as doctors are monitoring her eating.
"I’m just taking it every day at a time and just kind of trying to regain my strength and core and muscles," Primachenko said.
She says she hasn’t been able to see Ava in person yet, as she is still testing positive for the virus. She is in self-quarantine at home until she gets two negative tests in a row.
Primachenko has no idea how she contracted the virus. She says none of her family tested positive, and she was taking all the right precautions, as well as not working, before she got sick. She says the entire experience has taught her not to live in fear.
“Rejoice. Be happy. Life is so short,” she said.