MELBOURNE, Fla. - A West Melbourne family is going through unimaginable heartbreak after a woman gave birth and then died shortly after due to COVID-19.
Kristen McMullen was only able to hold her baby briefly after delivering it before being whisked away to the ICU at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne. The rest of her interactions with her baby, Summer, were virtual.
"She was able to watch on Facetime and take part in some of the baby being at home and things like that," said her aunt, Melissa Syverson.
McMullen was only 30 years old. Melissa and James Syverson, McMullen’s aunt and uncle say she was active, healthy, and full of life. About three weeks prior to her due date, the young mom to be developed COVID symptoms and was hospitalized just days later.
After an emergency c-section, McMullen’s condition became more severe. The 30-year-old new mom passed away on Friday. Now, husband Keith McMullen is grieving the loss while learning to be a new dad. All while picking up a second job to help support his newborn.
A Go Fund Me (Fundraiser by Melissa Syverson: New Mom Kristen McMullen Lost Her Fight w COVID) for the family has been shared more than 5,000 times. The proceeds will help with medical expenses and other costs for baby Summer.
As strangers reach out to the family in support, a tragic reality has been revealed.
"There are many tragedies that happen like this every day," said the Syversons. "A lot of people have reached out to us saying their family member is in the same situation, but they’ve actually lost the baby -- their sister or friend are fighting for their life."
The couple said even while Kristin was in the hospital, another pregnant woman was experiencing heart failure due to COVID-19. Doctors believe McMullen was infected with the Delta Variant.
The family wants people to know how risky covid can be for pregnant women. They also want everyone to know McMullen was a light to all around her. She always dreamed of being a mother. After years of trying to conceive, she and her husband were ecstatic to become parents.
"She just went after life and she enjoyed every minute of it," said the Syversons.
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