Covid-19

Mom celebrates life with baby Saint


Still weak and easily winded from COVID-19, Nakia Hubbard-Heard said she is celebrating this year as her most grateful Thanksgiving ever. 

The Inkster mom’s holiday will be quiet, with just her husband, children and the kids’ grandparents attending. But she will be there, along with her baby boy, Saint — and she considers that a miracle.

“He’s four and a half months now, and he’s doing great,” she said. “All of my children are healthy, and I’m grateful for everything.” 

Hubbard-Heard, 46, was 22 weeks pregnant in March when she came down with COVID-19 symptoms. She was hospitalized and first tested positive at Beaumont Hospital Wayne on April 8 but was so sick that she was airlifted two days later to Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak. 

Nakia Hubbard-Heard kisses her four-month-old son Saint, in their Inkster home. Hubbard-Heard said it is a miracle she and the baby can celebrate Thanksgiving after she was hospitalized with COVID-19 in April while pregnant. She is still recovering from the effects of the virus.

“She had progressively worsening hypoxic respiratory failure,” said Dr. Karoline Puder, an attending physician in maternal-fetal medicine at Beaumont Health, who was among as many as 100 people who cared for Hubbard-Heard at the health system.

“The reason she was airlifted was because she required both the ICU level care, the availability of a neonatal intensive care unit, and the availability of maternal-fetal medicine support for management and decision-making. She was very sick.”

Puder noted a pregnancy itself “puts extra metabolic needs on mom, there is greater oxygen demand, there are different blood flow changes. It also complicates the management because sometimes therapies that are recommended have limited knowledge of their safety in pregnancy, so there are questions of which is the greater concern — the effect of the disease or the effect of your treatment.”

Nakia Hubbard-Heard, left, and husband Janard Heard play with their four-month-old son Saint. Heard said he is praying for the many people with COVID-19 who won’t see their relatives this Thanksgiving because they are hospitalized with the virus.

In the hospital, Hubbard-Heard was not able to be with her husband, Janard Heard, or their other children, Rayne, 24, Ryan, 19, and London, 12.

Hubbard-Heard’s condition required a tracheostomy or “trach” and several surgeries to repair the damage COVID-19 wreaked on her vocal cords.

She and her family worried that she or the baby wouldn’t survive the delivery.



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