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San Diego mother reflects on surviving COVID-19 one year later

Posted at 5:54 PM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 20:54:40-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The Duque family has a new outlook on life following a terrifying and challenging recovery from COVID-19.

Last March, Ashley Duque contracted COVID-19. She was hospitalized, put in a coma, and on a ventilator while she was about 17 weeks pregnant.

At the time, the virus was still so new and unknown, Duque was terrified for her and her unborn child.

"We didn't know how it was going to affect me, and we didn't know how it was to affect the baby. I was very nervous that I wasn't going to make it through the pregnancy," Duque said.

But she had more fight in her than she knew.

"I am glad that I was able to come up with the energy and effort to fight forward," she said.

In April, she was released home from the hospital and got cleared to hold her daughter again after nearly a month. And on Aug. 25, Lucas was born. He was born healthy.

"He's for sure my miracle baby," Duque said.

And though the past year is marked with blessings, there were also more challenges, including several additional procedures.

"When I was extubated, my throat was cut," Duque said. "I was growing scar tissue pretty aggressively last year, and I ended up having multiple surgeries to remove the scar tissue to dilate my throat so I can breathe."

She says shortness of breath is still an ongoing issue, but the past year also has her a new perspective on days like these.

"I think I was in the hospital for 115 days last year and no fresh air, so this is amazing, and you don't take it for granted," she said.