Woman, 33, dies of COVID before getting to hold her newborn

(NY DAILY NEWS) – Her dying act was to give life. Erika Becerra died last Friday of COVID-19, three weeks after giving birth to her second child – whom she never got to hold.

She was 33.

Becerra had recently moved with her husband and baby daughter to Detroit from Los Angeles. At eight months pregnant with her son, she was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Doctors had decided to induce when they saw she was having trouble breathing. She delivered a healthy baby boy, Diego Antonio Becerra.

“The weekend came along and the doctor saw she wasn’t getting any better,” her brother, Michael Avilez, told KCAL-TV. “They had to think about the baby.”

The labor was normal, but Becerra was immediately intubated, Avilez told KCAL, and later, CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

“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 in the tube and then from there she just started declining,” Avilez told KCAL.

Her degree of illness was especially confounding not just because her only underlying health condition was pregnancy, but also because Becerra by her brother’s account did everything right.

On the rare occasions she did leave the house, she wore a mask and wiped down any surfaces she had touched, among other precautions, he said. Her husband and two children have all tested negative, he said.

“She followed every rule in the book and she still ended up catching it, and it’s sad,” Avilez told CNN. “You got a lot of people who don’t understand what’s going on … they all think it’s a joke until it happens to them or one of their family members.”

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