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Baby Oliver, mother reunite with medical team that saved both their lives

Baby Oliver and mother Rowena Salas had a tearful reunion with the Southern Hills Hospital medical team that saved both their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 10:06 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) -Baby Oliver and mother Rowena Salas had a tearful reunion with the Southern Hills Hospital medical team that saved both their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m so grateful for them, all of them. Everybody. The little things, the big things, every little thing matters to me,” Salas said. “Why am I a miracle? I’m I don’t see it yet,” she said.

FOX5 told you how Rowena Salas caught COVID-19 in her eighth month of pregnancy, and delivered baby Oliver on Thanksgiving Day. She delivered her son prematurely at Southern Hills Hospital, and shortly after, the team made sure she could obtain life support at Sunrise Hospital for the only ECMO facility in the state. ECMO is a step above a ventilator, meant for the most critically ill patients.

The community rallied behind her with a GoFundMe page and baby registry, while her family stepped in to support Oliver and his little sister. Their father passed away from health complications last year, leaving Salas as the last surviving parent.

“He needs a mom. they they both need a mom. My children, my family are just what motivated me to push through every day just to come home to them,” she said.

After 98 days on an ECMO machine, Salas miraculously got off life support, met her baby for the first time, and went home.

The medical team at Southern Hills Hospital said her recovery inspired them.

“Rowena is superhuman. It takes a lot to really fight through something like this, and that just shows what kind of person she is. And you see her family is what she was fighting for,” said Dr. Shahid Ahmad, who treated her during her initial hospitalization.

“I know a lot of us had been worried about this family as a whole. We prayed about it. And it was great to see a good outcome,” said Robby Hoge, a NICU nurse.

“It was nerve racking, to see how she would pull through and how she would do,” said ICU nurse Amelia Bednar. “It’s a miracle,” she said.

Salas continues to use oxygen support for her recovery, and continues her physical therapy.