A COVID Miracle: Mom gives birth while fighting against deadly virus
Bu WVUA 23 News Anchor Tamika Alexander
Thousands of people in Alabama have died of complications from COVID-19 since the pandemic set foot in the state in early 2020, and many more endured long hospital stays and life-threatening illness. At WVUA 23 News, we often mention those local, state and national numbers in our newscasts. But this story is about one woman in particular: A survivor who conquered the virus and gave birth at the same time.
Montoya Binion has been a teacher at Eutaw Primary School for nearly 20 years. While teaching during the pandemic has its challenges, she wasn’t expecting to add a pregnancy on top of it.
“It was exciting because this is what we have been wanting and praying for, to have another baby,” Binion said. “I was safe. I didn’t do anything. My husband did all the shopping and everything that needed to be done. He did it. “
The pregnancy was going well until she began having trouble breathing a few weeks before her due date. It was COVID-19, and she wasn’t alone. Her whole family tested positive. That’s when things took a turn for the worst.
“Once they did the C-section they had to immediately put me on a ventilator,” Binion said. “I was on there for 16 days, and it was a blessing that I made it off.”
When she got off the ventilator, she said the doctors told her she was lucky. No, she said. I’m blessed.
Dr. Alicia Glass at Northport Medical Center said she understands why mothers are hesitant when it comes to taking the COVID-19 vaccine, like Binion was. But it’s a critical step for mom and baby.
“We are recommending that all of our patients who are pregnant receive the vaccine for multiple reasons,” Glass said. “One, we are still worried about mom’s health and safety, because if we have a healthy and safe mom, we are going to have a safe pregnancy. Two, we are seeing the benefits of passing antibodies to the baby.”
Once Binion was taken off the ventilator, she said she quickly realized the impact the deadly virus had on the patients fighting for their lives all around her.
“I cried every day in the hospital because I was still on the COVID floor,” she said. “I am blessed because you hear the nurses and doctors running up and down the hallway because someone is coding.”
When her tears stopped, the real rehabilitation work began. Her faith helped her endure the long days and weeks it took working up to doing everyday activities again. After so long in a hospital bed, her body needed retraining. Things people take for granted like dressing themselves, eating or taking a bath, Binion had to learn all over again.
But the thing she most wanted?
“I wanted to hold my baby because when they did the C-section, I didn’t see my baby until my first day when I went to rehab on a Sunday,” Binion said. “So I had no idea I had the baby.”
After all that hard work, she’s thanking God for her miracle.
“I don’t take anything for granted,” she said. “I am grateful for anything that comes about. I try to be positive about it, because I am still here. So I have not complaints at all.”
After a long recovery, Binion returned to work as a second-grade teacher.