INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis mom is back home, ready to reunite with her whole family for the first time since a 100-day fight with COVID-19.
Autumn Carver walked out of Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital Wednesday, breathing with her own lungs with no assistance.
Autumn has made a remarkable recovery from a severe case of COVID-19 during pregnancy that sent her to the hospital and nearly destroyed her lungs.
"I've always been strong-willed, determined," she said. "Glad I was able to use that to, you know, fight to get healthy and save my life."
On Aug. 27, Autumn gave birth to her son at 33 weeks at IU Health Methodist Hospital. Huxley is healthy and three months old now.
Mom was sedated on life support and didn't meet or hold her newborn for more than 50 days. On Oct. 24, Autumn was transferred to Northwestern to prepare for a possible double lung transplant.
"Thanks to the excellent care here and the miracle we experienced, my body started healing. And yeah, it was pretty incredible to hear the words from Dr. Bharat that I don't think you need a lung transplant was amazing," said Autumn.
Dr. Ankit Bharat, the hospital's chief of thoracic surgery, is one of the top lung transplant surgeons in the country.
RELATED: Indianapolis mother fighting for her life after COVID nearly destroys lungs
"I would jokingly say the less transplants that we have to do, you know, the less stress then we have to face," Bharat said. "You know, it's always better to help patients get back to normal."
In five weeks in Chicago, Autumn made remarkable progress. Her exam for release included a breathing test.
"She can talk. She can walk. She can breathe on her own. We're gonna walk out of the hospital here in a little little bit and go home. I just don't have the words. I'm super, super excited and blessed and grateful, and it's just a miracle, an absolute miracle, and I thank God every day for her," said Zach Carver, Autumn's husband.
Zack and Autumn are surprising their two daughters Thursday with mom's return home — and Autumn can't wait to finally be mom to Huxley.
"All of it, including the late night wake ups and everything. Baby snuggles are the best. So, just looking forward to that bonding time and letting him get to know mama again," Autumn said.
Autumn was not vaccinated against COVID-19 during her pregnancy. She asked Bharat during her final checkup about getting the vaccine now. He advised her to get the shot as soon as possible.
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