Poynette mother fights fierce case of COVID-19 after being hospitalized before giving birth

The surrounding community is rallying behind the family to help pay for medical expenses.
Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 7:21 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A growing Poynette family is still waiting for mom to come home from the hospital six weeks after she gave birth to a baby girl.

Derek Townsend said his wife, Kelsey, has been in critical condition fighting COVID-19 since she was admitted to the hospital the first week of November. Townsend said she was 39 weeks pregnant with their baby, Lucy, when she was taken to the emergency room, put in a medically induced coma and delivered her baby unconscious via C-section.

“We are all pulling for her, she is strong and we know she can do it,” Townsend said.

Townsend said he, Kelsey and their three children all contracted COVID-19 in late October. However, Kelsey only got worse instead of recovering. More than a month later, the now mother of four is still fighting.

Courtesy: Derek Townsend
Courtesy: Derek Townsend

“Now, they are able to wake her up periodically just to check her and make sure everything is good and have her wiggle her toes and squeeze her hand,” Townsend said.

Townsend was not able to be present for the birth and had to later go to the hospital to pick up his newborn. The family is not allowed to visit, and Kelsey is still on ventilator unable to speak. However, they have been able to see each other virtually.

“At the end of the conversation the other day she blew us a kiss. She was able to meet Lucy for the first time,” he said.

Townsend said Kelsey’s parents and other family members have helped during this time.

“Kelsey is our first born. I think we can all relate to that. It’s just been very, very difficult. We miss her so much,” said Kelsey’s mother, Kristi McCarthy.

The family said faith, prayer and community has kept them strong as they try their best to make sure Kelsey does not miss out on cherished moments. Townsend said his wife is tough, and they have hope she will come home.

“It’s important that people understand that we did everything we were supposed to do and everything we were asked to do, and we still got sick,” he said.

Several community members have stepped up to help the Townsend family with medical expenses. On Friday, KD’s Bar and Grill and Lodi is donating $2 for each fish fry sold. On Saturday, they are hosting a socially-distant outdoor fundraiser from 12-4 p.m. to help. The owner of the bar and grill created a Wisconsin River Bank account where people can make private donations as well.

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