On April 2, 2020, Yanira Soriano was admitted to South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore with pneumonia from COVID-19. The Brentwood resident was immediately placed on a ventilator.
The next day, Soriano – 34-weeks pregnant – gave birth to her son, Walter, through an emergency C-section.
Too sick and exhausted to function, Soriano said that she initially didn’t even know that she had her baby.
After 11 days, Soriano beat COVID-19 at the hospital. For the very first time, she was able to hold her newborn son, a reunion that was recorded and met with applause from hospital staff.
On April 2, 2021 – just one year after she was admitted – a healthy Soriano gathered with Walter, her family and medical staff at the hospital to celebrate Walter’s first birthday.
“I am so thankful and grateful to the team at South Shore University hospital for bringing me back to life so I could be here to celebrate my baby’s birthday today,” Soriano said through an interpreter at Friday’s event.
Registered nurse Denise Mannino said when Soriano was in the ICU, she remembered “whispering in her ear that she couldn’t die, because she had a baby at home that she had to get to.”
Soriano said she knew the condition she was in when she arrived at the hospital, “and all I asked for was for you guys to save my son. But you also saved me. I’m so thankful for everything that you guys did,” she said through an interpreter.
The “Paw Patrol”-themed hospital party was open to the Soriano family, SSUH doctors and nurses who treated Soriano, and the hospital’s administrative staff.
“It was nice to see such a happy ending to this story,” SSUH executive director, nurse practitioner and registered nurse Donna Moravick said in a press release. “After being on a ventilator for 11 days, it was really encouraging at the time to see Ms. Soriano and baby Walter survive and thrive. I wish them nothing but a lifetime of happiness.”