Thornton mother gives birth while battling COVID-19 on a ventilator


THORNTON, Colo. (KDVR) — A local mother gave birth while battling coronavirus on a ventilator. Now, her family is sharing their inspirational journey with FOX31 to raise hope in the midst of the pandemic.   

Both Amber and Brett James were diagnosed with COVID-19. Amber has diabetes and asthma and she was 33 weeks pregnant when symptoms hit.

When Amber started to have difficultly breathing, she decided to call an ambulance. 

“I just thought I’d have to go to the hospital and I’d be OK. But they transferred me and I ended up in the ICU,” Amber said. 

“I remember the night she went to the hospital I just stood at the door and just watched the ambulance,” Brett said, adding, “I wasn’t sure if it was going to be the last time I was going to see her with all the stuff we heard with COVID and everything.”

Doctors decided to put Amber on a ventilator as breathing became harder for the 33-week-pregnant mother. She says a day after getting on the ventilator, doctors decided to deliver her her baby through a C-section.

“When the doctor called me and said they needed to pull the baby, that was really scary,” Brett said.

Brett was unable to be there for the delivery because he also tested positive for COVID-19. He was asymptomatic but had to pass two negative tests before meeting his baby.

“When they took her, I was still on the ventilator. It took about 13 days to get off and (my baby) was already born and thriving by then,” Amber said.

Michilah James was born on April 22. She was released from the hospital on May 19.

Amber and Brett got to hold her for the first time on May 20, the day Brett got the call his second test came back negative.

“He [the doctor] called me and said, ‘Go grab the baby and go hug on her.’ I couldn’t leave the store fast enough,” Brett said.

The Jameses shared videos with FOX31 capturing the emotional moments when Amber was released and Michilah met her family for the first time.

“People lose their lives everyday from this. I was fortunate enough to not lose my life and I’m grateful because I have two kids and a husband,” Amber said.

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