A new mother who spent weeks in the hospital fighting COVID-19 is finally home with her newborn baby.

Victoria Valdez said the last month of her life has been a battle to stay alive. At the end of October, she caught COVID-19 at her baby shower. After not being able to breathe, she was rushed to UnityPoint Hospital in Rock Island. There doctors determined she immediately needed to have an emergency C-section to deliver her first child, and then go on a ventilator to stay alive. The last thing she remembers seeing before blacking out was her new son’s face.

“I thought that maybe I would die,” Valdez said. “They put him by my face and I see him, and they took him away and then everything after that I don’t remember.”

Valdez spent weeks on and off the ventilator. Weeks of waking up, not knowing anything, and then passing out again. She said she remembers waking up, seeing pictures of her new baby, and not knowing who it was.

“I woke up and there’s like pictures in my room of a baby,” Valdez said. “And I couldn’t, I was like, ‘Whose baby is that?’ [They said], ‘It’s your baby.'”

After eventually being airlifted to Rush University Hospital in Chicago with fears that she might not survive, Valdez finally started showing signs of improvement on Thanksgiving.

“On Thanksgiving, they took the tube out of my throat,” Valdez said. “But I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t write, I couldn’t do anything for a while.”

After taking more time to recover, Valdez finally returned home this past Sunday, where she held her new son, Isaac, for the first time.

“Seeing him for the first time, I mean, it’s like really great,” Valdez said, fighting back tears. “He’s an angel.”

With everything that happened, it’s a moment she thought she might never get.

“That’s what I feared is, I’m not going to be able to go home to him,” Valdez said.

Finally, Victoria Valdez is home.

“Truly blessed to come home and to be with my baby and have the support that I did have,” Valdez said. “I made it. And I’m just happy for that.”