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Home for the holiday: Indiana mom who battled COVID, had emergency C-section takes baby home 3 months later

A pregnant mother hospitalized with COVID-19 had to have an emergency C-section at 32 weeks. After her surgery, she was placed on a ventilator for 19 days.

INDIANAPOLIS — It’s a moment Kaitlin Moore and Dante Raffaelli have been waiting months for. On Monday, the couple finally took home their 3-month-old daughter, Sofia, after a long stay at Riley Hospital for Children.  

“She was born, but I was in a coma for 19 days,” said Moore.  

In September, Moore tested positive for COVID-19 and was not vaccinated. A week later, she was admitted to the hospital after her oxygen levels were dropping rapidly and both her lungs collapsed.  

“I was just really sick. My oxygen wasn’t getting any better. Sofia wasn’t getting any oxygen,” Moore said.  

Doctors quickly made the decision to do an emergency C-section at 32 weeks pregnant.  

RELATED: Evansville mom recalls battle with COVID that nearly kept her from meeting her newborn daughter

At that time, Raffaelli was also sick with COVID-19 and couldn’t be at the hospital in support. He had to wait a week to see Sofia and even longer to see Moore.  

“It really was an emotional rollercoaster for me because we have two kids at home and we weren’t sure what was going on with Kaitlin and at that time, it wasn’t looking the best,” he said.  

After her surgery, Moore was placed on a ventilator for 19 days. 

“So I was in the room and I have no idea what is going on. Don’t know if the baby is even alive,” Moore said.  

After waiting 25 days, Moore was finally able to hold Sofia for the first time. 

Credit: Kaitlin Moore
It’s a moment Kaitlin Moore and Dante Raffaelli have been waiting months for. On Monday, the couple finally took home their 3-month-old girl Sofia after a long stay at Riley Hospital for Children.

Moore then learned her newborn was dealing with health complications after spending 81 days in the NICU. In November, Sofia was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis—a genetic disorder that causes problems with breathing and digestion.  

Doctors said it was not related to Moore having COVID-19. 

“Just her being here and me being here and being here together that’s the biggest miracle really,” Moore said.  

RELATED: Survivor: Woman with COVID-19 gives birth, gets new lungs

The family is now excited to introduce Sofia to her two older brothers. 

“They are super excited. Our 2-year-old will see the Riley logo and he will be like, 'Baby sister?'” Moore said.  

Most of all, they are thankful to be together this Christmas.  

“You just never know how quickly things can change and when it might be your last moment and to really cherish the people you love because life is so fragile,” Moore said.  

Sofia is working on gaining more weight and strength. She will return soon to Riley Hospital for Children for another checkup.  

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