Christina Jones was so gravely ill with coronavirus that doctors performed a Caesarean at 31 weeks. When the 39-year-old came round a week later she didn’t even remember being pregnant.
Christina Jones, 39, was diagnosed with Covid-19 on February 18 and, following eight days of isolation, was taken to Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil after struggling with breathing.
Christina was 30 weeks pregnant when she was taken to hospital. After being put on oxygen in the coronavirus ward for four days, her condition grew worse and she was ventilated on March 1.
The hospital called her husband Nick the next day to say that doctors wanted to deliver the baby by emergency Caesarean section.
“Before she went into surgery they said if we can save one I had to choose. I said it would be my wife.”
“At that point, how ill Chris looked, I really thought it was going to take a miracle,” he said.
The couple’s daughter was delivered via a C-section on March 2. She was born weighing just 3lbs 6oz.
Nick said their daughter was not initially breathing when she was born and was then taken away to a separate room as she had been born to a Covid-positive mother.
He was allowed to put on PPE to see his newborn daughter through the glass of the incubator where she had been put on a ventilator. The baby was transferred to The Grange Hospital in Cwmbran for five days.
All the while new dad Nick was unable to see his daughter as she required two negative Covid tests.
The hospital shared daily pictures of her through vCreate, a secure video messaging service used by the NHS to connect families, patients, and clinical teams.
When Nick told his wife the temporary name of the baby Angel Grace Hope Jones Christina thought it was “beautiful” and decided to keep it.
Christina remained in the ICU for five days where she says she had to learn to walk again. “I literally couldn’t do anything. I had been in bed for so long I had muscle wastage,” she continued.
“I couldn’t see the baby because they were testing me and I was still testing positive for Covid. I tested positive 33 days altogether.”
Virologists decided that, although Christina was still testing positive, the load of Covid was so minimal that they were happy for her to finally see her daughter through an incubator. Nick and Christina were able to see their daughter separately but not together.
Due to the period of separation Christina said doctors were concerned that she wouldn’t be able to bond with her baby daughter.
Before becoming pregnant with Angel parents Christina and Nick had lost a baby three months into pregnancy about a year ago after doctors could not find a heartbeat.
Christina is also stepmother to Nicky, 15, and mum to daughter Honey, 10, who are pictured here with newborn Angel Grace Hope Jones
Christina said she still has headaches and feels tired and weak but is now able to walk short distances without getting breathless.
Now eight weeks old, baby Angel’s original due date was this weekend. “She’s not due until May 2 – she’s not even supposed to be here yet,” Christina said.
“Angel just started out in life and nearly didn’t get to the starting hurdles and Christina was right at the gates of death but they’ve both bounced back remarkably well.”
Despite being 30 weeks pregnant when she tested positive for Covid-19 Christina said her main concern was for the welfare of her husband who is diabetic and has a rare kidney disease.
“I’m just over the moon that we’re both here because there are so many people losing their lives. I’m just high on life that we both survived,” Christina said.
Nick added: “It was incredible to see, when she came out and we all got together, how happy things were.”
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Video resource: WalesOnline