INDIANAPOLIS — Autumn Carver arrived at Methodist Hospital by helicopter Aug. 27. She was 33 weeks pregnant and seriously ill with COVID-19.
Doctors delivered her baby boy, Huxley, that day with Autumn sedated and on life support. Huxley spent 10 days in the hospital, but is doing fine and home with his two sisters, 5-year-old Harlow and 3-year-old Sadie.
COVID severely damaged Autumn's lungs. Medical machines have kept her alive for almost two months. The 34-year-old mother came off sedation about two weeks ago. Doctors surprised the family when they said she could finally meet Huxley on Tuesday.
"Answered prayer. We've been praying for that for nearly two months, every day, for her to get well enough that we could set this up and have this happen,” said Zach Carver, Autumn’s husband. “It was very emotional, very powerful day – one that Autumn and I will never forget."
Autumn’s parents are taking care of Huxley. Zach’s parents are watching the two girls while he spends almost every waking hour with his wife at the hospital. Autumn’s parents delivered Huxley to the hospital for the emotional first meeting with mom Tuesday afternoon.
"He was at peace,” Zach said. “He was calm. Then she fed him a bottle and he just laid there. Then Autumn got really tired, needless to say, holding the baby, and so we leaned her back and her mom set Huxley basically on her chest, and he passed right out. He fell right asleep and was like super cozy."
Autumn had only seen images of Huxley prior to Tuesday.
"She was very happy, of course, to meet him,” Zach said. “She kept telling him she loved him. It's hard not to be able to hold him and feed him and care for him every day. All the nurses and doctors that are helping take care of Autumn, I don't think there was a dry eye in the ICU where she's at."
Autumn came off the ventilator Wednesday. She only needs to use it now while sleeping at night. She has started to sit up, stand up, and take physical therapy. But she still needs an ECMO machine to provide oxygen to her blood.
She’s asking Zach lots of questions about what happened to her over the past two months.
"She knows the time frame and what she went through,” Zach said. “She knows that she hasn't seen our daughters in 55 days now. She's fought and fought and fought for her life every single day."
The fight will continue in Chicago soon. Autumn will transfer to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for doctors to help determine if her lungs will fully recover.
Autumn was not vaccinated against COVID-19.