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21-year-old unvaccinated mother fighting for life after emergency C-section following COVID-19 complications

Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 11:24 AM EDT
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OREM, Utah (KSL) – A 21-year-old mother in Utah gave birth through emergency C-section last week following complications from COVID-19.

She’s among the 80% of pregnant women who are not vaccinated in the U.S.

“She is a stubborn, strong, vivacious young woman,” said Jenny Bakes, whose niece Grayson Bakes came down with COVID-19 last week while she was 34 weeks pregnant.

Grayson and her newborn son Lennon are now in the hospital, where Grayson is fighting for her life.

“We’re not thinking in terms of how long it’s going to take her to get well. We’re thinking in terms of her survival,” Jenny Bakes said. “It’s really such a day-to-day thing.”

Grayson was not vaccinated, and she is not alone. Most pregnant women are not.

“Our best estimates are about 20% of pregnant women in Utah are vaccinated,” said Dr. Sean Esplin, senior medical director of women’s health at Intermountain Healthcare.

It’s not just Utah. That number is just slightly less than the national average of 22%.

“This is a population of people, pregnant women, where it’s understandable that people might be slow to adopt it, but there is enough information now that we really should be making that move, and really pushing to get people vaccinated,” Esplin said.

Getting vaccinated could have kept Grayson out of the hospital. Instead, she’s on machines to help her breathe, maybe even unaware she has a son.

“We are not confident that she is aware of what’s going on,” Jenny Bakes said.

The Bakes family hopes their story is enough to convince others.

“Just get vaccinated and wear a mask,” Jenny Bakes said. “This is a small thing. It’s a mask. This is you caring enough for yourself, or your family, and for others in your community to be cautious.”

The two leading organizations representing specialists in obstetric care – the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine – were recommending patients consult with their doctor, then determine whether to get vaccinated.

They changed their guidance on July 30, now recommending all pregnant women get vaccinated.

Copyright 2021 KSL via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.