Mom Who Gave Birth on Ventilator During COVID Battle Celebrates Thanksgiving amid Recovery

·4 min read
Autumn Carver
Autumn Carver

A Healing for Autumn/Facebook Autumn Carver

Autumn Carver has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

The Indiana mom of three, who has been battling COVID-19 side effects for months, celebrated the holiday from her hospital room on Thursday in the company of her loving husband, Zach Carver.

Though Autumn, 34, was unable to be home for Thanksgiving, Zach announced in his Facebook update that she was doing better and feeling extra grateful to be alive this year.

"Happy Thanksgiving from Autumn Carver and I from the Windy City," Zach wrote in his post. "We hope you had a great day. We are so blessed this year and have so much be thankful for. Autumn JOGGED down the hallway today."

"Her main PT trainer told her to 'start jogging'. I got to witness it and oh how amazing," he continued. "She could not walk without a walker 2 weeks ago and now she is jogging. It was a short distance but it was awesome."

Finishing his post, Zach said, "We are so glad we are on this side of this journey. We should be home very soon at this rate. Happy Thanksgiving again to everyone. Please continue to pray for us and we will continue to pray for all of you. God bless."

Autumn Carver
Autumn Carver

A Healing for Autumn/Facebook Autumn Carver with her newborn son, Huxley

RELATED: Mom Battling COVID Impact Comes Off Life Support, Meets Baby After Giving Birth on a Ventilator

Autumn was first hospitalized on Aug. 25 after testing positive for COVID-19 while pregnant with the couple's third child. The Indiana mom decided to not receive a vaccine after discussing her three previous miscarriages with a doctor, according to NBC affiliate WTHR.

However, in a health advisory, the Centers for Disease Control urgently warned pregnant women to get vaccinated against COVID-19 because of the significant risks of hospitalization or death from the virus. Pregnancy significantly increases the likelihood of hospitalization or death if a person contracts COVID-19.

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During Autumn's medical battle, which her husband has continued documenting online, Autumn was put on a ventilator before giving birth to Huxley via emergency C-section.

She was later transferred onto an ECMO machine, where she remained for close to two months as the virus wreaked havoc on her lungs.

In recent weeks, Autumn has been showing signs of improvement, with Zach noting on Facebook how she was being slowly weaned off the ECMO machine and doing more activities independently. She also got to meet Huxley in an emotional reunion on Oct. 19, which Zach called an "amazing moment."

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The good news continued earlier this month when Zach announced that his wife had finally been released from the hospital's intensive care unit and gotten her feeding tube removed.

"She walked down the halls and worked on upper body strength with OT [occupational therapy] and did great," he noted in a Nov. 3 update. "She got a huge compliment this afternoon from her OT specialist. She said that Autumn was one of, if not the hardest working patient she has ever had."

"I'm very proud of her dedication and fight. She wants to get back home to our kiddos as soon as possible," Zach added.

Since then, Autumn's improvement has been steady, with Zach noting how his wife was staying persistent with her therapies and working on regaining her strength.

RELATED: Mom Leaves ICU After Giving Birth on Ventilator During COVID Battle: 'Very Proud,' Says Husband

In an update on Monday, Zach marked 90 days since Autumn had been admitted to the hospital.

"What a journey this has been. She is a complete miracle and does nothing but impress everyone she interacts with," he wrote.

Zach followed it up with an update on Wednesday, revealing that Autumn got a brace for her left leg, which has nerve damage, but that she showing more progression each and every day.

"She can walk better each day and her blood pressure and heart rate are becoming more normal each day," he wrote. "Needless to say, but we have a lot to be thankful for this year. I am very thankful for all the prayers toward my family. I'm so thankful for my beautiful wife and the miracle she is... Spend all the time you can with family. Hug the ones you usually do and especially hug the ones you normally don't. Life is short."

In addition to Zach's Facebook updates, "A Healing for Autumn" Facebook group was set up to inform loved ones about her steady progress. A GoFundMe page was also launched for the Carver family to assist with medical expenses. So far, it has raised over $52,000.

Those interested in donating to Autumn's GoFundMe page can do so here.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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