‘She was shattered’: 33-year-old new mom dies from COVID-19 before holding her newborn daughter
WHITTIER, Calif. - Vanessa Cardenas Gonzalez died from COVID-19 complications without ever getting the chance to hold her newborn daughter, Heaven.
"She fought. She fought a good fight," her husband, Alfonso, told FOX Television Stations Wednesday.
Alfonso said his wife of 13 years became sick in early November during the latter term of her pregnancy. She then tested positive for COVID-19 a few days later.
"I was like, ‘Don’t worry,’ you know. ‘We’re going to get through this together,’" Alfonso said.
Vanessa gave birth on Nov. 9, after which the hospital discharged the mother and daughter. Alfonso wouldn’t allow Vanessa to hold their baby because she was still COVID-19 positive.
Heaven Gonzalez (Credit: Alfonso Gonzalez)
"That can’t happen. I’m sorry but you know the baby needs to be separated right now. We need to take precautions," Alfonso told his wife.
"She was broken. She was shattered," he said. "I would show the baby on FaceTime and it would just break her. It would break her because she just wanted to hold the baby."
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Alfonso hoped his wife would get better, but instead, she took a turn for the worse when she suffered a heart attack. She returned to the hospital on Nov. 11 and died Dec. 14.
Gonzalez family sends Vanessa well wishes while she battled COVID-19. (Credit: Alfonso Gonzalez)
The couple already had two older sons, but looked forward to having a girl, even fasting and praying for one. They had a gender reveal in July and posted it on Facebook.
"I’ll tell her that was my rib. That was my other half," Alfonso said when explaining how he will talk to Heaven about her mother. He plans to keep his wife’s personal things to hand down to his daughter when she gets older.
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Alfonso said his wife came up with Heaven for their daughter’s name.
Family Friend Desiree Vera set up a GoFundMe page to help out the Gonzalez family in the wake of Vanessa’s death. Vera said she lost her father to COVID-19 complications as well. The page had raised more than $24,000 on Wednesday, exceeded its fundraising goal of $10,000.
"It’s good to see people give back," Vera told FOX Television Stations.
Alfonso said his faith is keeping him strong as well as his church family. Amid his personal loss, he reminded others that COVID-19 remains a prevalent threat.
"Wear your mask," he said.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.