A mum died from coronavirus complications before she got the chance to hold her newborn daughter, her heartbroken family have revealed.
Vanessa Cardenas Gonzalez, who was only 33, fell ill in early November while in the late stages of pregnancy, and she tested positive for Covid-19 a few days later.
After Vanessa gave birth to her daughter, Heaven, on November 9, the pair, from the US city of Whittier, California, were deemed well enough to go home and were released from hospital.
But Vanessa was told to self-isolate and her husband Alfonso refused to let her hold their baby because she was still infected with coronavirus and he feared she would pass it on to the newborn.
Speaking to Fox Television Stations, heartbroken Alfonso said he had told his wife of 13 years: “That can’t happen.
“I’m sorry but you know the baby needs to be separated right now.
“We need to take precautions.”
He added: “She was broken. She was shattered.
“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.”
Alfonso said he had told his wife not to worry and that she would win her fight with Covid-19.
But her condition took a turn for the worse and she suffered a heart attack within 48 hours of giving birth.
The mum-of-three, who had two young sons before giving birth to her daughter, returned to the hospital on November 11 and died on December 14 after more than a month fighting for life.
Grieving Alfonso has now urged people to take coronavirus seriously and take precautions – such as wearing a face mask – to avoid catching the disease and passing it on to others.
Alfonso is now raising their three children alone.
He plans to hold on to Vanessa’s personal belongings and give them to Heaven when she is older.
He said is finds comfort in the name that Vanessa gave to their daughter.
Alfonso told USA Today: “The name is prophetic of what was about to happen to mum.
“Mum was about to go to heaven.”
Family friend Desiree Vera has set up a GoFundMe page to support the Gonzalez family. It so far has raised more than $42,000 (£31,200).