ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — COVID-19 brought on dark times for our health care workers, but one story stands out to the NICU staff at Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas in Rogers for being a light of hope during the pandemic.
A mom with COVID gave birth to what the Mercy NICU staff said is a miracle baby, and today the nurses were reunited with them.
Tracy Lamb was shaking from a bundle of nerves and excitement while waiting to reunite with the mom and baby who got her and other NICU nurses through the most trying part of the pandemic.
“They are our miracle. They really are. They got us through such a dark time, COVID,” said Lamb.
Samantha Kennedy, the mom, was just as emotional about bringing her daughter, Charlotte Coleman, back to the place they spent many hard months.
Kennedy’s story is one of success, but started as a nightmare. She was on her way from her home in Florida to tell her boyfriend’s loved ones in Arkansas that she was expecting, but it didn’t go as planned.
“I started having some difficulty breathing and wasn’t feeling very well, and they did have to take me off the plane in a wheelchair,” said Kennedy.
Kennedy had COVID, making her so weak she was unable to breathe or talk. When the hospital didn’t allow visitors, she could only communicate with her loved ones with hand gestures over nurse-assisted Facetimes.
Her condition, along with her unborn daughter’s chance for life, only continued to worsen.
“I was given a ten percent chance of survival and she was given zero percent chance,” said Kennedy.
Kennedy was put on a ventilator and given a tracheotomy, hoping to keep her baby in the womb as long as possible. Kennedy and her boyfriend decided if it came to it, they’d save the baby.
“I knew before they intubated me that I was probably saying goodbye to my loved ones for the very last time. I did not expect to say goodbye on facetime,” said Kennedy.
Lamb said nurses rallied behind Kennedy. As moms and their babies died every day in the NICU and COVID continued to take lives, the nurses prayed they wouldn’t hear Kennedy’s room number over the intercom saying she had joined them. Thankfully, their prayers were answered.
“So my first memory is not a vision. It’s all audio and some pain, and it is literally my boyfriend saying, ‘push, the baby is coming, push’, then me pushing, hearing the commotion all around me, and then blackness again,” said Kennedy.
It was a natural birth and they spent months in the hospital healing and growing closer to the Mercy staff.
“We just did everything we could and prayed so hard for both of them because we needed our miracle. COVID was hard on the nurses and the doctors,” said Lamb.
Being reunited was a reminder that miracles do happen.
Kennedy and the miracle baby are now healthy and are planning their trip back to their home in Florida. Lamb said things like this are the reason she’s a nurse.