A Mother Couldn't Wait to Welcome Her Second Child. COVID-19 Killed Her Before She Could Hold the Baby

“I’m going to make sure their Mommy stays alive in their heart forever,” Erika Becerra’s godmother said. “They are going to know who their mom was.”

Erika Becerra, 33, had no underlying health conditions when she was diagnosed with the coronavirus several weeks before her due date. She died 18 days after having given birth.
Courtesy Claudia Garcia

For 18 days after Erika Becerra gave birth, she fought for her life, hooked up to a ventilator in a Detroit hospital, NBC News reports.

Diagnosed with COVID-19 on Nov. 7 at just shy of nine months pregnant, Becerra, 33, was otherwise healthy, relatives said, and excited to welcome her second child.

Initially, her coronavirus symptoms were manageable at home: body aches and some tightness in her chest, Claudia Garcia, Becerra’s aunt and godmother, said.

But then, Becerra started having problems breathing, and her husband, a landscaper, rushed her to the hospital by ambulance. With her condition worsening by the day, doctors opted to induce Becerra on Nov. 15, a couple weeks before her due date, Garcia said.

Becerra’s son, Diego, was born healthy. But chaos followed his birth: Becerra’s oxygen level plummeted, the doctors at Henry Ford Hospital told Garcia. Instead of getting to cradle her baby boy, Becerra had to be intubated.

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