VANCOUVER, Wash. — Angela Primachenko was 33 weeks pregnant when she was tested for COVID-19 on March 24 because she had a fever and other symptoms.
Eight days later, the 27-year-old respiratory therapist from Vancouver, Washington, was fighting for her life on a ventilator while in a medically induced coma.
At the same time, she gave birth to her daughter after doctors at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center induced labor to give Primachenko more of a fighting chance while also protecting her child.
"I feel like I'm a miracle walking," Primachenko told Sheinelle Jones on TODAY Monday.
Primachenko was taken off the ventilator on April 6, and one look down at her body told her that her baby must have been born.
"Obviously nobody expected that I was going to get that sick, so no, absolutely not, I did not expect to deliver my child,'' she said. "After all the medication and everything I just woke up and all of a sudden I didn't have my belly any more. It was just extremely mind-blowing."
Primachenko spent 17 days in the hospital, 10 of them intubated and on a ventilator. She was released from the hospital on Saturday, has not yet been able to hold her daughter, Ava, who remains in the neonatal intensive care unit. She has been able to see her via FaceTime, and her daughter, who weighs 4.5 pounds, has tested negative for COVID-19.
“I think I'm just going to cry and ball and get to hug her. I can't wait to hold her and to hug her and tell her that I love her," she said.
Primachenko said she has to have two straight tests that show she is negative for COVID-19 before she is allowed in the NICU to be with Ava.
Her husband, David, and her 11-month-old daughter, Emily, did not test positive for COVID-19, so David has been able to hold their daughter in the NICU. Primachenko is not sure where she may have contracted the virus.
Her twin sister, Oksana Luiten, had been keeping family and friends updated through Primachenko's frightening ordeal, asking for prayers on Instagram for a "miraculous healing."
Primachenko also had a moment she'll never forget when she was wheeled out of the intensive care unit in her bed.
"Everyone did a standing ovation and just clapped me out of the ICU, which is so amazing and such a huge thing to be able to leave the ICU and go to the floor — it's just the grace of God," she said.
Primachenko said she's so thankful to all the doctors and nurses who helped her.
"I just felt such a sense of community and togetherness. Especially with coronavirus, there is so much fear and so much anxiety from everywhere. To have a situation to get through this and come through the other side, healthy, with a healthy baby, I feel so incredibly blessed," she said.
Washington has been one of the hardest hit states in the country, with 10,411 cases of COVID-19 and 508 deaths, according to state health officials. Primachenko is hoping her story can send a positive message during a difficult time.
"That there's hope,'' she said. "That even in the hardest days and the hardest times that there's hope and you can rely on God and people and community. The amount of community and people that were praying for me is just unbelievable. I was blown away, and I'm so incredibly thankful."
Giving her daughter the name Ava also has a special meaning, particularly after everything that mother and daughter have endured.
"It means 'breath of life,''' Primachenko said. "So she's our new little breath of life."
KGW's Ashley Korslien contributed to this article.