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A New York mother who contracted the novel coronavirus while in her third trimester was released from the hospital to the sound of staff applause earlier this month, and greeted by her newborn son who was delivered via emergency C-section while she was on a ventilator.
Yanira Soriano, who tested positive for pneumonia and COVID-19, was admitted to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, according to Northwell Health, the hospital’s parent company. She was placed on a ventilator on April 1 and the next day gave birth to her son, Walter, via C-section at 34 weeks gestation, a hospital spokesperson told PEOPLE.com.
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“She was not awake when her baby was born, and did not hear the baby cry or have any opportunity to meet him right after his birth,” Benjamin Schwartz, chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwell Health, told PEOPLE.com.
She remained on the ventilator for 12 days. Walter was transferred to another hospital before he was discharged.
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Soriano eventually recovered, and when she was well enough to go home, the staff sent her off with plenty of fanfare. As she was wheeled through the halls, employees lined the walls clapping and cheering as she made her way to the front doors where her newborn son was waiting for her.
Once outside, Walter was placed in his mother’s arms for the first time.
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“Today was a great day,” Schwartz told PEOPLE.com, of the reunion. “It’s an incredibly proud moment not just for the department of obstetrics and gynecology, but for Southside Hospital and the entire team that works here.”