LOS ANGELES (KCAL/KCBS) – A family is in mourning after a 33-year-old mother from Detroit died from COVID-19 shortly after giving birth to a healthy baby boy.
Erika Becerra, 33, was 8 months pregnant when was diagnosed with COVID-19 in November. She was taken to a Detroit hospital, a city she had recently moved to for her husband’s job.
“She’s all like, ‘Mom, I don’t feel good. I don’t feel like myself. It’s hard to breathe,’” said Becerra’s brother, Michael Avilez. “The weekend came along. The doctor saw she wasn’t getting any better. They gave birth to her son.”
Becerra’s labor was induced Nov. 15, and she gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Diego Antonio Becerra.
“She had a normal labor. She gave birth to her son but didn’t get to hold him because right after she gave birth, that’s when they put the tube in. Then, from there, she just started declining,” Avilez said.
Avilez and his family rushed to Detroit from Los Angeles, where Becerra grew up, to be by her side. She had no underlying conditions, other than pregnancy.
“Towards the last moments, she was tearing. I know she heard us. We prayed for her. We talked to her. We comforted her to the last moments,” he said.
Thankfully, Diego, Becerra’s husband and her 1-year-old daughter all tested negative for the virus. A GoFundMe set up to help the family with expenses has raised more than $13,000.
The family tragedy is a reminder of skyrocketing coronavirus cases in the Latinx community, and Becerra’s loved ones hope her death will encourage people to take the virus seriously and help stop its spread.
“It is a real thing. I don’t know why people don’t comprehend that,” Avilez said. “It was all my sister wanted was the best for everybody, and she cared about lives. She didn’t deserve to go through what she went through.”
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