ORLANDO, Fla. (WESH) — Shantal Feliciano is at AdventHealth on a ventilator, in critical condition, but her husband has faith she’ll come back to him and the newborn son she has yet to meet.

“The fact that we have our child at home is amazing but it just breaks my heart that my wife didn’t get to be able to hold him,” Heriberto Feliciano said.

Feliciano says baby Caleb is happy, healthy and COVID-19 negative. but his wife Shantal is very ill with the virus. Doctors had to perform an emergency cesarean section on Aug. 8, when Shantal went to the hospital struggling to breathe. She’s been sedated, hooked up to machines, ever since.

“I wouldn’t wish this on anybody. This is really hard when you have to see somebody on a ventilator like that and the machines breathing for you,” Feliciano said.

The hospital arranges virtual visits for Heriberto and family every day, and though Shantal can’t communicate, her husband of three years is sure, she knows they are there.

“We sing to her our favorite Christian songs,” Feliciano said. “We read the Bible to her. We pray for her. I let the baby cry on the phone for her and stuff like that. I believe it in my heart that she can hear us.”

Shantal did not get vaccinated for fear of hurting her baby. Heriberto, who also contracted COVID-19 but has since recovered, says they both planned to get vaccinated right after the baby was born. He now believes, they waited too long.

“I just want to tell everybody, if you do have the opportunity to get vaccinated, get vaccinated,” he said.

Heriberto, family and friends have organized a prayer vigil. They’ll be outside the hospital Saturday at 5 p.m. praying.

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