American Idol alum Casey Goode was trying to adjust to her life as a new mom but then she learned that her newborn son had contracted COVID-19.
Bes known as Quigley, Goode told PEOPLE that her son Maximilian (Max) Vaughn arrived home from the NICU and then came down with a fever of 101 degrees one night.
Max tested positive for COVID-19 and was taken to the ER under the doctor’s advice.
Recalling her son’s COVID-19 diagnosis, Casey said, “I was in just complete and utter shock. But the craziest thing is, your maternal instincts kick in and you don’t have any choice but to be really strong for your baby. It’s so bizarre. I felt this total calm, confident energy wave over my body that he would need that from me.”
“There was a part of me that was worried, but the overwhelming sense of me would not let myself go to a dark place,” she continued. “I just kept wanting to maintain my energy level to calm and secure, rather than panicked, because I knew that wouldn’t have made the situation any better.”
Casey’s husband, Alex Goode, had to learn about Max’s COVID-19 diagnosis on the phone, as he was not able to be at the hospital due to COVID restrictions. He told PEOPLE it was “just such a shock to hear.”
“All I could do at that point was to be a rock for my wife,” Alex recalled. “I knew she was doing her absolute damndest to be the rock that Max needed.”
After the diagnosis, Casey and Max were admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit for quarantine.
Casey said, “To just jump into an isolation room without having any preparation was terrifying. But I was not, for the life of me, going to be separated from him for one moment.”
Although Casey was not tested positive for COVID-19, she had to be treated as if she had the virus, which means she would not be able to be with her son if she were to leave the NICU.
“The hardest part is just seeing your son … with all of the cords,” Cases said. “He was hooked up to oxygen. It was really hard to see how uncomfortable he probably was. I’m a person who always looks for a silver lining and I just kept telling myself, ‘Okay, we’re in isolation, but this is a precious time for me and him to bond.’”
“It was like I was either on baby duty or I was napping,” she continued. “I didn’t have time to talk to anyone. It was very lonely, but I had Max and I was still riding on such a high from getting to meet him and to be around him. I was just trying to focus on those moments.”
Casey added that it was also “hard to be away from Alex.”
“I wanted him to be able to enjoy those moments with us as a family and from the comfort of our home, but I knew those moments were coming,” Casey said, “The stronger I stayed for Max, the faster I can get him home.”
Alex said, “Casey’s spirit never dropped. I can’t imagine what she was going through in isolation, being there with him, but she was an absolute rock star. I couldn’t have been more proud of how she handled the situation and how much she must’ve helped Max.” The article originally appeared on PEOPLE.