Vanessa Cardenas Gonzalez, 33, tested positive for coronavirus in November, just a few days before giving birth to her baby girl, her family says. But the mom of three died before she ever got to hold her newborn named Heaven.
Immediately after delivery, Gonzalez and her baby were separated.
“They didn’t want the exposure for the baby, so they rushed the baby out of there,” her husband Alfonso Gonzalez said.
The two were then discharged from the hospital, with instructions for Gonzalez to quarantine away from the baby and the rest of her family.
“She was very sick. She told me when we were driving home, ‘I want the baby to be in the room with me.’ And I said no Vanessa, you can’t,” Alfonso said.
Alfonso says his wife was healthy and he expected her to recover. But the next day, her condition took a turn for the worse and he called an ambulance when she had trouble breathing.
She suffered a heart attack and brain damage, Alfonso said. Gonzalez was transferred to UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, where she was hospitalized and put on a ventilator.
The mom of three was not able to have visitors and spent about a month at the hospital before she died there on Dec. 14.
“The hardest part for me through this is she didn’t get to hold her baby,” Alfonso said.
Alfonso is now raising his three children — 11-year-old Ruben, 7-year-old Joshua and 1-month-old Heaven — without his wife.
A GoFundMe page for the family has already received more $20,000 in donations. Alfonso says he is grateful and his focus is to stay strong for his three children who meant everything to his wife.
“We cried together but at the same time they knew mom was home with God, that she can breathe now,” he said.