Mom recovering from COVID-19 meets newborn son for the first time thanks to UAB nurses

Mobile woman gives birth while battling COVID-19.
Media contact: Hannah Echols

KODAK Digital Still CameraPhotos courtesy of UAB NewsNurses in the Continuing Care Nursery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital arranged for an early Mother’s Day gift for their patient — the chance to finally meet her son. 

Dakota Vest-Wright, a Mobile resident, was diagnosed with COVID-19 on April 9, 2021, and admitted to the emergency room at a Mobile hospital the following Wednesday. She was transferred to UAB on April 19.

When admitted, Vest-Wright was pregnant with her second child. She gave birth at the UAB’s Women and Infants Center on April 20, the same day she was put on ECMO due to COVID-19 complications. Due to her condition, she was not able to meet her son, Bruce.

ECMO, or extra corporeal membrane oxygenation, is a technology using a portable heart/lung bypass machine originally developed for heart surgery. ECMO takes on the function of the heart and lungs by routing the patient’s blood into the machine, where carbon dioxide is removed and oxygen is added. The blood is then pumped back into the body.

Vest-Wright was finally taken off ECMO on May 6, and the CCN nurses began planning the long-awaited meeting. After almost a month in the hospital, and 17 days after giving birth, Wright finally met her son on May 7, just two days shy of Mother’s Day.  

As of May 12, Bruce and Vest-Wright continue to recieve care at UAB Hospital. A GoFundMe page has been established to help the family.