Online fundraiser created for local woman recovering from COVID who gave birth while on a ventilator

Rachel Hulshoff has yet to meet her newborn after recovering from COVID, double lung transplant

Rachel Hulshoff was 35 weeks pregnant with her first child when she tested positive for COVID. She was put on a ventilator. Two months later she is still in the hospital recovering from a double lung transplant and has yet to meet her daughter.

DETROIT – Rachel Hulshoff was 35-weeks pregnant with her first child when she tested positive for COVID.

She was put on a ventilator. Two months later she is still in the hospital recovering from a double lung transplant and has yet to meet her daughter.

“All she wanted to do is meet her daughter and that’s the hardest part of it all,” said Valarie Wright.

Wright has been close friends with Hulshoff for the last 20-years. The last time she saw Hulshoff was at her baby shower. Wright said her friend was glowing.

“Anytime you would take a peek at her she’s rubbing her belly,” said Wright.

Like any new mother Hulshoff was a bit nervous.

“She had asked us about our birth plans before and I said ‘birth plans never go as planned’,” Wright said.

But what happened next is not what anyone could have planned for or predicted. In early August just a few days after testing positive for COVID she was admitted to the hospital. Eventually she was put on a ventilator. Then 30 minutes later she had a C-section and Callie was born.

“For someone that couldn’t and did, she (Hulshoff) has such a beautiful daughter. We just can’t wait for her to meet her and just see her be a mom finally,” said Wright. “The thought of this being ripped away from her is agonizing, it’s just been an agonizing pain everyday.”

Hulshoff was on a ventilator for more than seven weeks with her lungs hit the hardest. Just last week doctors gave her a double lung transplant.

Wright said even when Hulshoff was sedated they would be there encouraging her.

“We keep telling her to keep fighting, keep hanging on we’re doing everything we can to get you where we need to get you,” said Wright.

Even though Hulshoff has opened her eyes she still has a long and hard fight ahead with a happy ending in sight.

“She knows that baby Callie is waiting for her,” Wright said.

It could be weeks even months before Hulshoff can return to work.

Family and friends are raising money for medical and home bills in addition to anything she needs to pay for during the recovery process.

Michigan COVID: Here’s what to know Oct. 4, 2021

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About the Authors:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.