Erika Becerra was eight months pregnant when she told her mother she wasn’t feeling like herself and that it was hard to breathe — a string of symptoms most dreaded these days.
The 33-year-old Los Angeles native was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus and taken to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, where she and her husband moved for work. Doctors noted her condition was getting worse and her labor was induced, according to a report by KCAL in Los Angeles. Becerra gave birth to a healthy boy, Diego Antonio Becerra, Nov. 15.
“She had a normal labor, she gave birth to her son but didn’t get to hold him because right after she gave birth, that’s when they put in the tube and then from there she just started declining,” said Becerra’s brother, Michael Avilez, in a video to KACL.
Michigan surpassed 10,000 deaths due to coronavirus this week, and ranks ninth nationally for total confirmed COVID-19 deaths since January. However, Michigan ranks fourth for deaths in the last seven days.
Becerra’s diagnosis came after she spent a weekend at the hospital after having contractions in November. That following week, she began experiencing difficulty breathing and was taken to the hospital.
Despite no known underlying conditions except pregnancy, Becerra’s condition got worse. Her family rushed from Los Angeles to comfort their daughter. She stayed on the ventilator through her final moments.
“Towards the last moments, she was tearing up. I know she heard us as we prayed for her, we talked to her, we comforted her in the last moments,” Avilez said in a video with tears in his eyes. “All my sister wanted was the best for everybody and she cared about lives. She didn’t deserve to go through what she went through.”
Becerra succumbed to coronavirus Thursday, never having the opportunity to hold her baby boy. She is survived by her 1-year-old daughter, newborn Diego and her husband. The three have tested negative for coronavirus.
The family has launched a GoFundMe campaign Friday with a $10,000 goal to fund funeral costs and travel expenses from Michigan back to Becerra’s hometown in California. It has since raised more than $84,000.
Additional funds raised will go toward Becerra’s children, according to the fund’s web page.
“I know God needed her more than we did,” Avilez said. “And with open arms we gave her to God last night.”
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