Caroline Buckley was only 2 days old when she contracted COVID-19.
Caroline was born 9 weeks early on Nov. 12 at Northern Light A.R. Gould hospital in Presque Isle — weighing in at 3 pounds, 6 ounces — before becoming critically ill and being transferred to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, WABI reported.
She stayed in the NICU for 98 days.
It looks like Caroline contracted COVID through vertical transmission and had COVID pneumonia, requiring a breathing tube for 39 days, Dr. Jay Hagerty, medical director of the NICU, told WABI.
Babies born 9 weeks premature usually stay in the NICU for 7 weeks, but Caroline’s stay was double that, he told the station.
On Friday, Caroline finally headed home. Employees lined the lobby as the family exited the hospital, and quietly celebrated her discharge, according to a hospital Facebook post.
Caroline’s mom, Laken, said they didn’t know if the day would come because the baby was so sick, the post said.
“It was heart wrenching watching [Caroline] struggle, but the level of compassion by the NICU staff was beyond measure,” she said.
Now, all Caroline has to do is meet her older brother.