A 38-year-old unvaccinated mother has died from Covid two weeks after giving birth to a premature baby boy while on life support.
Kristen Roy, from Franklin – almost 40 kilometres south of Indianapolis – in the US state of Indiana, did not get the Covid-19 vaccine straight away as she did not know how it would impact her unborn child.
But when her doctor advised her to get it, Ms Roy booked herself in.
"By that point, it was too late," Ms Roy's sister Courtney Burke told 13 WTHR.
Ms Roy was informed she had Covid on July 9 and a week later she was admitted to hospital where her condition went downhill quickly, her sister said.
The mum-to-be was switched onto life support to give her unborn son a fighting chance.
"Then the time came, August 13, where her stats were dropping significantly, and so that’s when they [doctors] made the call that we’re going to lose her and the baby if we don’t deliver the baby today," Ms Burke said.
Despite doctors warning Ms Roy may not survive a caesarean, she made it through alive but was unable to meet her son as she was unconscious.
More than a week after baby Elijah Levi was born at 25-and-a-half weeks, Ms Roy died on August 22.
"I believe she saved his life. She held on long enough for him to be born," Ms Burke said.
GoFundMe set up for Kristen Roy and baby's medical bills
Ms Roy's other sister, Tonya Cruser, has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover Ms Roy and her baby's medical bills as Elijah remains in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Indianapolis's Riley Hospital for Children.
The little boy is "doing great but has several months to go in the NICU", according to an August 30 update on the fundraising page.
Ms Roy leaves behind husband Matt, who she married back in December before falling pregnant months later, and her two sons, Collin and Dominic.
Following her death, Mr Roy shared heartbreaking details about her condition on Facebook.
"She had two lung collapses and there was nothing more they could do," he said.
"The ecmo (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine was fully supporting her and her lungs were too scarred to recover.
"We did not want her to suffer. I held her hand and prayed/hum sang worship songs til she was gone.
"I'm devastated... Kristen was the love of my life and changed me in a lot of ways."
Ms Burke urged expectant mothers to get vaccinated.
"It was too late for her, but it’s not too late for so many other pregnant women out there.... Maybe her death, it won’t be for nothing," she told 13 WTHR.
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