Woman in Coma With COVID Delivers 'Miracle Baby' After Postponing Vaccination

A woman battling COVID-19 in North Carolina delivered what her sister described as a "miracle baby" while in a medically-induced coma earlier this month.

The new mother is still "fighting for her life" against double pneumonia in a hospital as relatives care for her newborn baby, the woman's sister, Tarisha Leach, told the Charlotte-based news station WSOC-TV.

"That baby is a miracle baby," Leach said during a recent interview with the station. "She's beautiful."

Vicky Goodson is employed as the cafeteria manager at Starmount Academy of Excellence, an elementary school within the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools district that says on its website it enrolls fewer than 500 students. Goodson postponed plans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 until after pregnancy, her family members told the station.

About a month before her baby was due, Goodson alerted her friends and family that she had tested positive for the virus, according to a social media post the station shared. "Please keep me and my baby in yall prayers because I found out today I have tested positive for covid-19," the post read.

Pregnant woman delivers baby in coma
A woman battling COVID-19 delivered a baby while in a medically-inducted coma in mid-September. Above, a vial of Pfizer's COVID-19 booster vaccination sits on a table at a vaccination booster shot clinic on October 1, 2021, in San Rafael, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Goodson reached out to her sister in early September to say she was having trouble breathing, Leach told the station. Goodson was later admitted to the hospital and, days later, doctors delivered her daughter on September 11. The baby did not have the virus but did have to spend about two weeks in the hospital's newborn intensive care unit before she was released into the care of Goodson's family, WSOC-TV reported.

Leach said that other pregnant women "should definitely" get vaccinated against COVID-19.

"Definitely get vaccinated," she said. "It's the safest thing right now."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended all people for whom COVID-19 vaccines have been approved—including individuals who are pregnant—get the vaccine to protect themselves and help limit community spread of the virus. Earlier this week, the CDC issued an emergency advisory that specifically encouraged women who are either already pregnant or trying to get pregnant to get vaccinated if they have not already done so.

"Pregnancy can be both a special time and also a stressful time – and pregnancy during a pandemic is an added concern for families," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in the advisory. "I strongly encourage those who are pregnant or considering pregnancy to talk with their healthcare provider about the protective benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine to keep their babies and themselves safe."

National data showed about 31 percent of pregnant women in the U.S. were fully vaccinated against the virus by the end of September, according to the CDC. Of the more than 125,000 pregnant women in the U.S. who tested positive for the virus since the start of the pandemic, more than 22,000 had been hospitalized and more than 160 had died, the agency's data showed.

Newsweek reached out to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.