A pregnant teacher who was extremely careful to avoid COVID-19 has died after friends organised a surprise baby shower, not realising one of them was infected.
The woman Camila Graciano, 31, was eight months pregnant when she caught the virus in the city of Anapolis, in the central Brazilian state of Goias, after contact with one of the people at the surprise party friends had organised for her.
Despite her precautions, the widespread nature of the novel coronavirus in Brazil meant she was ultimately unable to avoid contracting the virus.
Thankfully her baby survived.
Her family said that knowing her pregnancy was at risk, Ms Graciano had taken great care not to leave her home during the pandemic.
However, her brother Daniel Helio Ambrosio told local news outlet Globo that her co-workers organised a surprise baby shower towards the end of her term. One of her friends who turned up had reportedly already contracted coronavirus but was asymptomatic and therefore unaware.
“Soon afterwards she [the friend] got really bad and let the others who were there know. Unfortunately, my sister was one of those infected,” Mr Ambrosio said.
The expectant mother was rushed to hospital three days after the party. Her family struggled to find a bed for her as all of the city’s intensive care beds were occupied at the time.
Her brother said: “They were thinking about taking her to [the major cities of] Goiania or Brasilia. Thanks be to God we have many friends who we mobilised in order to get an ICU bed for Camila, and finally we got one in the Santa Casa [Hospital].”
She was admitted into a maternity ward for high-risk pregnancies which has beds specifically set aside for women with COVID last Wednesday.
Her childbirth had to be induced to save the baby, who was born premature but has been faring well.
“Thank God my niece is showing good signs, she’s breathing alone in the incubator, and doesn’t need oxygen,” Ms Graciano’s brother said.
Brazil has recorded the second most known coronavirus cases and related deaths in the world during the pandemic, behind only the US.
Despite the severity of Ms Graciano’s condition, the family had high hopes that she would recover, and she was even showing signs of significant improvement.
“Right after giving birth, she showed some major improvement. Even the doctors said:'Look, have faith, because her lungs are improving, her heart rate is improving, her blood pressure is improving’,” Mr Ambrosio recalled.
On Friday last week (local time), she started to deteriorate and died the following day.
“On Friday she started to get worse, the virus had mutated very strongly, and she didn’t stand a chance,” he brother said.
According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University, Brazil has suffered more than 3,761,000 cases of COVID-19 with 118,649 related deaths.
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