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Las Vegas mother off life support, recovering with hopes of reunion with newborn

A pregnant woman who gave birth and ended up on life support is making a remarkable recovery at Sunrise Hospital, and hopes to eventually meet her baby.
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 9:45 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A pregnant woman who gave birth and ended up on life support is making a remarkable recovery at Sunrise Hospital, and hopes to eventually meet her baby.

FOX5 told you about the plight of baby Oliver in December.

His mother Rowena Salas, who hoped to get the COVID-19 vaccine after delivery, contracted the virus late in her pregnancy and ended up in the hospital. Shortly after she gave birth, she was placed on a ventilator and an ECMO machine, reserved for the sickest patients.

Salas is the only parent Oliver has left. His father, Jaime, died from health complications in 2021. Her younger brothers and mother have stepped up to care for the baby, and many FOX5 viewers lent support via their GoFundMe page and Baby’s Bounty page, to offer funds and baby supplies.

There is only one ECMO program in all of Nevada, and it can support a maximum of several patients. In late December, Salas finally opened her eyes and began her recovery at Sunrise Hospital.

“Every day she is making progress. She is getting stronger and stronger. She is doing miraculously well,” said Dr. Michael Gale, who helps lead the ECMO program and supervises her progress.

Salas still uses the ECMO machine as she makes progress in walking, moving and strengthening her lungs. Eventually, doctors will remove the device.

There is no timeline yet for her release from the hospital.

Salas’ family says the medical bills are still looming. The family also needs supplies for the growing baby, who is now 12 lbs. and needs size 3 or 4 diapers.