A mum who gave birth while battling coronavirus died on a ventilator having never been able to meet her newborn baby daughter.
Aurora Chacon Esparza underwent an emergency C-section at North Memorial Hospital in Brooklyn Center because doctors were worried her unborn baby was not getting enough oxygen.
Baby Andrea was then born 10 weeks premature and remains healthy, but her mum died on Sunday, according a GoFundMe page set up by her devastated family.
Husband of seven years Juan Duran wrote that he and their three children “will forever miss her”.
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He described her as a “strong, loving and caring person” and said he hoped she’d “moved on to [a]better life”.
Aurora began displaying Covid-19 symptoms in early June, including frequent coughing and breathing problems.
As the 35-year-old mum’s condition worsened, doctors reportedly said she needed to be put on an ECMO machine that would act as her heart and lungs.
However, with NMH not an ECMO centre, she would need to be moved to another hospital – though all transfers were denied, Juan told Fox 9.
The dad-of-three said his wife was a “healthy woman with no pre-existing conditions”, adding: “We never thought this could happen to our family.”
As well as Andrea, the couple shared a one-year-old son and a daughter, seven.
Initially believing Aurora’s stay in hospital would be short, four days later when he was told about the C-section “that’s when it hit me”, he explained.
Referring to his baby girl, he told the news outlet: “She’s four pounds, two ounces now and her heart is doing great. She can breathe by herself. She eats, she smiles, she cries.”
North Memorial Health told Fox while it partners with local and regional healthcare systems to provide ECMO, it is a “highly specialised service” and not offered as a “long-term or ongoing treatment which would be required to treat Covid-19”.
It added that it is used for “short-term emergency care” as part of trauma and cardiovascular surgery programmes “when needed”, adding that “stringent criteria” must be met.
Juan said he begged for his wife to be transfered to an ECMO centre, claiming that Aurora’s doctor had told him she didn’t meet the criteria because she “been on the ventilator for too long”.
He said he was told she could haemorrhage and lose a lot of blood due to the C-section with transferring her posing “big risks” but said it was the “best option to save her life”.
Juan warned people to be cautious that even if a family member is healthy, coronavirus could still see them put on a ventilator fighting for their life.