'Caring' 34-Year-Old Mom with COVID Put on Life Support Machine After Giving Birth to Third Child

"I know that she's fighting with all she has. And I just have to be standing by her side," Zach Carver said of his wife Autumn Carver

Autumn Carver
Autumn Carver. Photo: A Healing for Autumn/Facebook

An Indiana mom was weeks away from welcoming her third child when she was diagnosed with COVID-19 and hospitalized.

Now Autumn Carver is now on an ECMO machine, fighting for her life at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, according to NBC affiliate WTHR.

Because Autumn, 34, went on the life support machine the same day that she welcomed her new son Huxley, she hasn't gotten a chance to meet her third child, the outlet reported.

However, with slight improvements in her condition, Autumn's husband Zach told WTHR that he's hoping she will get that opportunity soon and finally reunite with their other daughters, 5-year-old Harlow and 3-year-old Sadie.

"She's still fighting hard. I'm super proud of her," Zach said. "Hopefully, here in the near future, she's walking out of here with me... she's the best mother that I could ever ask for our children."

The couple, who have been together since high school, both contracted COVID-19 last month after opting not to get the vaccine. Autumn made the decision after discussing her three previous miscarriages with a doctor, WTHR reported, but in a health advisory on Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control urgently warned pregnant women to get vaccinated against COVID-19 because of the significant risks of hospitalization or death from the virus. Pregnancy significantly increases the likelihood of hospitalization or death if a person contracts COVID-19, but "only 31% of pregnant people have been vaccinated," the CDC said.

When the couple got sick, Zach experienced a high fever, while Autumn — who was active and often did CrossFit workouts — suffered complications with her lungs, according to the outlet.

Autumn eventually was admitted to Community South Hospital on Aug. 25, where she was put on a ventilator. Two days later, she was airlifted to Methodist Hospital to undergo an emergency C-section, WTHR reported.

Huxley made his entrance into the world a few weeks early on Aug. 27 while his mother's condition worsened, causing doctors to put her on the ECMO machine and consider a double lung transplant, according to the outlet.

"The last time I heard her voice was the 25th of August," Zach told WTHR. "The last time we really communicated was the 27th. She did smile at me on Sunday twice and she gave me a half-smirk yesterday. She squeezed my hand multiple times. But she's highly sedated right now letting her lungs heal."

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As Autumn continues to fight, a GoFundMe page was set up for the Carver family and a Facebook page was launched to update loved ones on Autumn's progress. So far, the GoFundMe page has raised over $40,000.

"I'm forever grateful for everybody's support and love," Zach told WTHR.

He noted that he's been able to remain by his wife's side because his parents are taking care of their daughters and Autumn's parents are taking care of Huxley, who has since gone home from the hospital.

"Her CT scans are showing improvement and her X-rays are showing improvement on healing. It's just going to take a long time," he explained to the outlet. "[I'm] by her side and holding her hand and whispering she's going to be okay and to keep fighting."

"She's responded multiple times with a head nod or a blink of an eye or something," he continued. "So, I know that she's fighting with all she has. And I just have to be standing by her side."

While he continues to watch his wife battle the virus, Zach has one message for others who may hear her story.

"For anybody thinking about Autumn... say prayers for her and for her healing, her lungs to heal," he told WTHR. "[She's] the most caring and loving person that I've ever met. I'm not just saying that because she's my wife. But she lights up a room. She's got a beautiful smile. She's very caring and goes above and beyond to take care of her friends and family."

"Autumn will beat this and be back home with little Hux, the girls and I soon," he added on the GoFundMe page.

Those interested in donating to Autumn's GoFundMe page can do so here.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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