A family in Arizona mourns the loss of a mother to COVID-19, while at the same time trying to care for their newborn daughter.
Patricia Denise Jackson, 31, died of the virus on September 13, just days after giving birth.
Jackson’s boyfriend Michael Jerome told Granthshala that he took Jackson to the hospital on August 28 when he was showing symptoms of COVID-19. A rapid test came back negative and she was told she had pneumonia, then she was sent back home with medication.
His symptoms worsened and on August 31, Jerome was taken back to the hospital and it was confirmed that he had COVID-19.
“That’s when everything fell apart,” Jerome said.
Jackson was eight months pregnant and was transferred to a hospital in Phoenix for an emergency C-section.
Cara Leola Jerome was born on September 1 at 4 pounds and 7 ounces and was not getting enough oxygen because of Jackson’s illness. Kara was put on breathing and feeding tubes, and Michael was unable to see his daughter for almost a week due to COVID protocols in the hospital.
Michael said, “It was terrifying. I was really upset that his mother couldn’t even catch him because of COVID.” “She herself was in the NICU.”
Jackson’s mother Theresa Carruthers told Granthshala that she had been in constant contact with her daughter since she was hospitalized and gave birth.
“As she continued to talk with me, she got scared and she got tired,” Carruthers said.
On September 7, Carruthers received a call from the hospital that his daughter needed to be put in an induced coma to save her life.
According to Carruthers, Jackson had a collapsed lung, low oxygen levels and a tube in his chest.
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On September 11, Carruthers flew to Arizona after another call, saying her daughter was doing well. Things changed rapidly and Jackson died two days later at 1 p.m.
She was not vaccinated but told Michael and her mother that she would after Kara was born.
“I understand that you are pregnant and don’t know what the vaccine will do for the baby and so I didn’t make a mistake in Patricia’s decision,” Michael said.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that pregnant people receive a COVID-19 vaccine and that pregnant people are at increased risk of serious illness if they contract the virus.
Michael stated that the plan was to work before Jackson became ill, and that Jackson would stay at home with Kara. Now she has been entrusted with the responsibility of raising her daughter alone.
“My daughter doesn’t know her mother and it breaks my heart,” said Michael. “She looks a little bit like him so it’s rough.”
family has started gofundme campaign To raise funds for the newborn.
Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalsha. Email: [email protected]