Arlington Healthcare Hero Helps New Mom through Coronavirus Battle
By Texas Health Resources
Posted on August 31, 2020, August 31, 2020

Zacharri Polyak (Courtesy: Texas Health Resources)

Zacharri Polyak, a critical care nurse, moved out of his home at the beginning of the pandemic to protect his wife and two sons and to focus on caring for patients in Texas Health Arlington's COVID ICU. That's where he met a woman who came to the emergency department 30 weeks pregnant and so sick she needed to be on a ventilator.

The baby was delivered via C-section and sent to the NICU, while the Spanish-speaking mother — when she was stable enough to be moved and after she had officially tested positive — was transferred to the COVID ICU. There, she was alone, surrounded by doctors and nurses. She still had not seen her baby. Once she was finally awake enough to realize what had happened, she came down with a case of mastitis and became withdrawn and depressed.

Polyak understood what she was going through since last year his wife gave birth to a son who spent his first 17 days in the NICU. So, he went to work. The NICU manager said she'd need two negative tests and seven days of the mother being symptom free before she could see the baby in person so he set the mother up with the Angel Eye app, provided through philanthropic support, allowing her round-the-clock viewing access to her baby. He had someone from lactation to call and speak to her in Spanish.

But more than anything, Polyak was just there. He found a staff member to come in and translate, and he sat with the woman and told her his story of how he and his wife had their baby by emergency C-section too and the nights they spent in the NICU. He told her she was not alone and that he would do everything he could to support her.

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