Leaving behind six children, a Texas mother recently died of COVID-19 after an emergency cesarean section at 25 weeks pregnant.
Her newborn baby, Koda, is in the newborn intensive care unit, KTRK reported, but he’ll grow up without his mom.
Crystal Hernandez, 27, died of COVID-19 complications less than two weeks after her youngest child was born, the station reported, but her husband, Rico, says she had a sweet moment following his birth.
“They said that she did fine during the emergency C-section,” he told KRTK. “And that she was aware afterward and that they were able to tell her she had a healthy baby boy.”
Crystal never got to hold her baby boy, though.
“She never woke up after that,” Rico told KRIV. “Those were probably her last moments from what I know.”
The mom died Jan. 15, according to her niece.
“It hurts me having to make this post she was such an amazing mom to her babies and had that laugh that would make you smile. She definitely will never be forgotten,” niece Alexis Alba shared to Facebook. “My heart breaks knowing my uncle will have to go on by himself with 6 kids.”
Rico and Crystal were not vaccinated against the coronavirus, KTRK reported.
“Me and my wife, we talked about it,” Rico told the Houston TV station. “She was pregnant and so she had some concerns. It all happened so fast and it was being pushed on us very fast and she just didn’t want — she didn’t feel comfortable and so I wasn’t going to go against her wishes.”
Crystal’s death came 14 days after she and Rico became sick with COVID-19, according to a GoFundMe on behalf of the family.
“As days went by Crystal started to get worse and at night would feel like she was dying because she couldn’t breathe. Crystal went to the hospital on Tuesday January 4th and was immediately admitted because her oxygen levels were low,” the GoFundMe says, adding that she delivered baby Koda on Jan. 6.
While Rico says the older children understand their mom has passed, he told KRIV that his 3-year-old son still asks when she will come home from the doctor.
“I try to explain to him mommy is an angel now,” the dad told KRIV, “she’s watching over you.”
Pregnancy and COVID-19 vaccines
Experts with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend COVID-19 vaccines for anyone pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to become pregnant and who may get pregnant in the future.
“Although the overall risks are low, people who are pregnant or recently pregnant are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared with people who are not pregnant,” the CDC says.
Severe illness encompasses the need for hospitalization, intensive care and ventilation, along with illnesses that result in death.
“Additionally, people who have COVID-19 during pregnancy are at increased risk of preterm birth and stillbirth and might be at increased risk of other pregnancy complications,” according to the CDC.
Early research shows that COVID-19 vaccination is safe and effective during pregnancy, officials say, and benefits of the vaccine outweigh known or potential risks.
Additionally, the CDC says getting vaccinated against COVID-19 while pregnant builds antibodies that may protect your baby.