Woman who gave birth while in a coma and battling COVID-19 meets newborn for first time

MADISON, Wis. — Nearly 3 months after she gave birth while in a coma and battling COVID-19, a UW Health patient was finally reunited with her family, including her newborn daughter she had never met, Lucy.

Kelsey Townsend was discharged from University Hospital on Thursday after a months-long battle with COVID-19, according to a spokesperson with UW Health.

Townsend was nine months pregnant in October, 2020 when she was diagnosed with COVID-19. She gave birth to Lucy on Nov. 4, 2020 while in a medically induced coma.

After she gave birth to Lucy, Townsend’s health deteriorated and she was put on life support systems.

In December, 2020 UW Health doctors said Townsend would likely need a double lung transplant. Her husband broke the news to her on Christmas Eve.

A spokesperson for UW Health said just days after she was put on the transplant waiting list, Townsend’s condition started to improve. She was eventually taken off a ventilator in mid-January.

After being discharged from the hospital last week, Townsend was reunited with her husband and four kids, including Lucy.