Mother recovering from COVID-19 meets newborn baby three months after giving birth

Published: Mar. 14, 2022 at 9:37 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Baby Oliver and his mother were finally reunited and met for the first time, after Rowena Salas ended up on life support after giving birth.

The March 3 reunion happened 98 days after Oliver Salas was born.

FOX5 has followed the heartbreaking story of Baby Oliver for months. The baby’s father passed away in 2021, while Rowena Salas was pregnant with their son. In November 2021, Salas experienced complications with her pregnancy, delivered early at Southern Hills Hospital, and shortly after, was transferred to Sunrise Hospital for life support.

Sometime in the winter, Salas was able to open her eyes. Her lungs could not process oxygen, and Salas needed to stay on life support while awake.

“Her room was covered in pictures of her family and her baby, and her family were very engaged. I think that that really helped with her recovery,” said Dr. Michael Gale, co-medical director of the ECMO program at Sunrise Hospital.

Finally, on March 3, Salas was able to make enough progress to meet her baby and finally go home.

“Rowena is a remarkable individual. It was a long, long awaited reunion. She has done amazingly, amazingly well off of ECMO. She’s been in ongoing rehab, working with the team as she recovers and regains her strength,” Dr. Gale said.

According to loved ones, Salas still needs oxygen support, cannot carry Baby Oliver or his sister for long periods of time, and struggles with feeling discouraged over her health challenges.

Her goal is to boost mobility to push Oliver and his sister in a stroller.

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