OHIO, USA — This Mother's Day will be extra special for one Ohio health care worker who quickly turned from provider to patient. For Jennifer Perry, her work as a physician’s assistant is her passion. When coronavirus entered our world the pregnant mother had no other choice but to help those who believed they may have the virus.
“You are swabbing and [patients] usually cough on you and at that point, we didn’t have PPE, we had no masks, no face shields, we didn’t have gowns, we just had gloves,” said Perry.
Unfortunately, just two weeks before her due date she came down with coronavirus symptoms. Perry says she was so sick; she could barely get out of bed. Her husband and young son also showed similar symptoms. Perry was the only one in the family who was allowed to get tested as she was set to have her baby at any moment.
“When I initially got swabbed they said I would get the results in three to five days. Then it moved from five to seven days and then seven days to ten days,” said Perry.
While Perry waited for tests to arrive, her baby did not wait to arrive into this world. Perry was told she would have to deliver her baby alone - without any loved ones by her side. Her husband dropped her off at the hospital entrance and drove off. At that moment, Perry knew she had to put on her game-face - she simply had no other choice.
"Selfishly I was terrified," said Perry. "Am I going to be able to do this without him? Am I going to be able to do this with no one by my side who knows me and loves me?"
Perry says her room looked a lot different than her previous pregnancy and the nurse assisting was covered from head to toe in personal protective equipment. After a 12 hour labor, and some complications, Jennifer's doctor ordered a C-section.
"That was the first time in the day that I lost it, I became emotional," said Perry.
With her husband on Facetime, she delivered her healthy baby girl, Elliette. The next day, that nurse once covered from head to toe in PPE – walked in without full gear. She delivered the news that Jennifer’s coronavirus test was negative.
Perry hopes to inspire other mothers in her shoes, because during this coronavirus pandemic, it’s very well known that there are others going through the same exact thing.
“It was difficult but it was also really empowering and I have a really strong sense of self and I feel like a very powerful woman and mother.”