Ashley Wadley’s son is seen in this pre-birth ultrasound image, (Photo: Ashley Wadley)
The grief-stricken mother of a baby boy who died of COVID-19 shortly after birth says she never got the chance to meet her little son.
Ashley Wadley says that her son, David James Wadley Jr., was prematurely born. The young boy fought for two days before testing positive for COVID-19 and passing away.
According to Ashley, she tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 11. She wasn’t able to get out of bed and she had a high fever. At the time, she was pregnant with her son and due in just nine weeks.
On Jan. 14, Ashley says her son wasn’t moving as much as he should be and it concerned her. The next day she called doctors and began having contractions soon afterward.
Doctors told Ashley the baby’s heart was racing and he was in distress. She needed to have an emergency C-section.
David Wadley Jr. was born at a Pendleton, Ore., hospital weighing only 3 pounds, 15 ounces. He was airlifted to a Tri-Cities hospital for further care while Ashley remained in Pendleton. She never got the opportunity to meet David.
Ashley says that doctors were able to remove breathing tubes from David because he was showing signs that he was breathing on his own, but two days later, David started losing his fight. Doctors learned that David’s lungs were “cloudy,” he was having seizures and had a brain bleed, Ashley says.
At 9:37 p.m. on Jan. 17, Ashley says she “got that phone call no parent ever wants to get.”
“My baby passed away at 9:34 p.m. and had tested positive for COVID,” Ashley said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is possible, but extremely rare, for unborn children to contract coronavirus in the womb.
“Most newborns who tested positive for COVID-19 had mild or no symptoms and recovered. However, there are a few reports of newborns with severe COVID-19 illness,” the CDC says.
Ashley and her husband are struggling emotionally and financially. The pandemic has been difficult for the couple who are raising two other children. A Paypal account has been established to help the Wadley family in this time of grief.
Ashley shared her story with KOMO’s sister station in the Tri-Cities, KEPR-TV News, because she wants others to know that it is possible, although extremely rare, for an unborn child to contract coronavirus while in the womb.