Like any first-time mom, Linda Luong felt a mix of emotions around giving birth. Excitement, hope, nervousness. All of these feelings are normal for any new parent. She, however, had the misfortune of planning her baby’s arrival in the middle of a pandemic. And if matters couldn’t become more surreal, she tested positive herself for the COVID-19 virus.
On Nov. 25, 2020, at 36 weeks pregnant, Luong started to feel especially sick. She and her husband, Sam Saeturn, dashed to the emergency department as her symptoms grew worse. She was admitted to Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento where her journey into motherhood took an unexpected turn.
The next day—on Thanksgiving—clinicians performed an emergency cesarean section, and baby boy River entered the world. Luong witnessed the delivery of her son, but she could not hold him due to her diagnosis. Soon thereafter, her condition deteriorated. She slipped into unconsciousness and couldn’t breathe on her own.
“Honestly, I thought I was going to lose Linda and I was going to be a single father,” Saeturn said.
See more of Luong’s fight to survive and reunite with her husband and newborn during unimaginable circumstances.