When Yanira Soriano touched her newborn baby, the hospital staff cheered—for a mother and son who had beaten incredible odds. The 36-year-old was admitted to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, NY, on April 2 and tested positive for pneumonia and COVID-19, Newsday reports. In her third trimester of pregnancy, she was put on a ventilator, placed in a medically induced coma, and given an emergency C-section. Her son Walter was born the next day. "In most instances you're awake when you deliver the baby and you can bond with the baby right away," Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, who delivered Walter, tells ABC 7 News. "But in this context because the mom was so ill, she had to be put on a ventilator and put to sleep right before the baby was born."
That was followed by 11 days on a ventilator, an experience that ended Monday. "I was helping someone with a problem and I just noticed those big brown eyes looking back at me," a nurse who was there when Soriano came around tells WPTV. "I was like, 'I know you!'" Finally, dozens of health care workers celebrated around Soriano on Wednesday as Walter's father handed her the baby. She was wheeled outside, then walked to her car with the child in her arms. "It's an incredibly proud moment for not just the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology but for Southside Hospital and the entire team that works here," says Schwartz, per Good Morning America. Walter tested negative for COVID-19 but doctors say he'll be monitored through online health visits. (Read more uplifting news stories.)