A young Florida woman, suffering from the effects of COVID, managed welcome her little daughter to the world, then after a 19 day battle to survive, she lost her life.
According to USA Today, 30-year-old Kristen McMullen of West Melbourne, Florida,, was hospitalized on July 21, three weeks after her COVID-fueled pneumonia symptoms started to resurface.
“She was able to hold Summer for basically just two pictures,” said Melissa Syverson, McMullen’s aunt.
“One she had the mask on, and one she took the mask off. They took the quick pictures, she put the mask back on – and then they moved Kristen to ICU immediately after that,” she said, reports USA Today.
Syverson said her niece developed COVID-19 symptoms about three weeks before her due date, and she was hospitalized July 21 with coronavirus-related pneumonia.
By July 27, McMullen, weakened by the virus, delivered her tiny daughter, who the couple named Summer Reign, via emergency cesarean section. But she was only able to hold her baby for a few short seconds to take two pictures before being moved to the ICU, her aunt, Melissa Syverson, shared.
According to Syverson, McMullen would connect with her family via Facetime after the delivery, but they noticed her condition was only deteriorating.
“She couldn’t interact. But at least she could see Summer while she was being cared for, and just look at her. And then her breathing just progressively got worse,” Syverson said.
“We would get random texts from Kristen saying that things weren’t good, and she loved us. She had a few phone calls, but literally, she only had enough strength just to say, ‘I love you,’ to Keith and Summer,” she added.
By August 3, McMullen had to use a breathing mask machine. Two days later, she lost her battle with the virus.
“A 30-year-old bright, beautiful, vivacious girl with the world ahead of her,” recalled her niece. “She was an amazing person, and very bubbly. Loved her family.”
Her family declined to talk about McMullen’s vaccination history, but they indicated she had no preexisting medical concerns and was an energetic, dedicated worker. It is not known if she had been vaccinated.
“She never got sick, and we assumed like many people that this would just go away just as quickly as it came,” said James Syverson, McMullen’s husband, NBC News reported. “Because with a lot of younger people—she was only 30 years old—that she would breeze through it and be back taking charge of life.”
Syverson warned people to be more aware of pregnant women’s vulnerability to the virus.
“We’re trying to make others aware that if you are pregnant or if you see a pregnant person, and whether you want to wear a mask or not wear a mask, be more aware that these people are really susceptible to COVID and COVID pneumonia,” McMullen’s aunt said.
Syverson said Summer, was in good condition.
“Summer’s doing great. She’s a perfect little baby. She had a little bit of jaundice in the beginning, but she’s perfectly fine now,” Syverson said. “She’s just amazing. And we’re just really thankful to God to allow Kristen to pass Summer on to us and leave her with us.”
McMullen’s death comes amid a state-wide COVID-19 outbreak that has set a new high. USA News revealed that as of August 9, Brevard County had to inform that all three local hospital systems were already overloaded, and “emergency rooms are swamped with patients exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday, August 11, said expectant women were at higher risks of acute illness and pregnancy complications with the lethal virus, urging for more of them to get vaccinated.
But considering that the experimental vaccines themselves can also pose health risks, even miscarriages, and the common practice of avoiding medical interference during pregnancy, it is understandable that expectant mothers may have reservations about the jabs. CDC data revealed that only 23% of them had received at least one vaccination dose.
As reported in June that the federal health departments continued to promote vaccination in pregnancy with vague details on the vaccines’ effects from the manufacturers, still it is worth noting that they were those more vulnerable to the Delta variant. Seeking professional help is always advisable, especially during pregnancy.