‘Instead of a baby shower…she got a ventilator’: Family speaks out as new mom with COVID fights for her life

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BRIGHAM CITY, Utah (ABC4) – A Brigham City woman is fighting for her life after contracting the Delta variant while pregnant and giving birth in an emergency C-section. In an interview with ABC4, her family is sharing her story in hopes that others will see how dangerous a casual attitude about COVID-19 can be.  

Grayson Bakes is at the Timpanogos Regional Hospital in Orem struggling to hold on, while her newborn baby is in the NICU due to his premature birth. Luckily, Grayson’s baby boy tested negative for COVID-19. However, since Grayson is positive, she is in isolation and can’t see her baby.  

“I’m hoping she gets to meet her baby and he gets to meet her, and they get to have cuddles because they both deserve that,” Grayson’s mother Jamie Bakes said.  

Jamie said Grayson couldn’t wait to be a mother. However, Grayson did not get the COVID-19 vaccine during her pregnancy.  

“Her baby shower was actually scheduled for Saturday, but instead of a baby shower…she got a ventilator,” Jamie said.  

Jamie said Grayson tested positive for COVID-19 in late July after she came into contact with someone at work who was infected and wasn’t wearing a mask. In a matter of days, ABC4 has learned Grayson’s health took a turn for the worse.  

“The breathing started getting worse, it just got harder to breathe and then she just couldn’t eat, there was nothing she could do to get comfortable. Sitting up…laying down…it was just awful,” Jamie said.  

Since Grayson was in her third trimester and declining fast, she was transferred to a hospital nearly 100 miles away in Orem.  

“I think Timpanogos was the closest hospital that had a critical care bed as well as a NICU bed available…so that should say something. I mean if that doesn’t scare someone, they’re running out of space,” Grayson’s aunt Jenny Bakes said.  

Jamie said doctors decided to do an emergency C-section since Grayson’s body couldn’t fight on its own anymore. Luckily, Grayson’s baby boy tested negative for the virus and is getting healthier by the day, according to family members.  

“The baby has actually been a shining star through this whole thing. He’s been such a tender mercy because he’s actually doing well. I was actually told that he might be going home in a couple of days,” Jamie said.  

Meanwhile, Grayson is on a ventilator and only semi-conscious. Grayson’s mother said she is unable to meet and hold her newborn son since she’s in an isolation room at the hospital.  

“I think she’s going to wake up and they’re going to say, ‘you gave birth to your child,’ because she wasn’t well going down there, she wasn’t making sense, she was in and out and I think she is going to be incredibly confused,” Jenny said.  

While her family is trying to stay strong, they said knowing the virus is unpredictable makes it challenging to remain positive.  

“It’s devastating to think in terms of ‘is she going to survive?’ as opposed to ‘OK, it’s going to take her this long to get well’ because we’re not there yet. We hope and you pray for the best, but we don’t know, and no one can really tell us because they don’t know either, that’s the frustrating thing about this,” Jenny said.  

In the meantime, her family hopes Grayson’s story will encourage others to take the virus seriously.  

“If it causes one pregnant woman to say, ‘hey my house is on lockdown, if you want to come in and see my family, children, or this baby, you better show up with a negative test and you better have a mask on or even better a vaccination card.’ If just one person says, ‘hey this is bad, this could get really ugly, I’m going to go ahead and protect myself,’ then it would’ve been worth it because we would do anything to not be in this situation right now,” Jenny said.  

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