A 30-year-old healthcare worker from California died of COVID-19 complications on Sunday shortly after giving birth to her sixth child.
Ashley Gomez, a nurse from Northridge and mom to six sons, was 37 weeks pregnant last month when she suddenly began experiencing shortness of breath, a symptom of COVID-19.
"Then she started having a small cough, and the fever kicked in," Ashley's husband, Wilber Gomez, told ABC 7, adding that his wife insisted on fighting the virus at home.
"She was just a rock star, she tried to wait till the last minute," he added. "She's like, 'No, I got this, I can do this.' She liked to power through everything."
Ashley's family eventually convinced her to go to the hospital, and she was admitted to Kaiser Woodland Hills. There, her health took a turn for the worse, and doctors were forced to perform an emergency C-section and deliver her baby boy, Corey.
However, Ashley was unable to interact with her newborn son due to her health status.
"She got to see just the picture, so she didn't get a chance to hold him, to kiss him or anything," Wilbur said.
Just one day after Ashley gave birth to Corey, her health continued to deteriorate. Her aunt, Valerie Wolff, told ABC 7 that Ashley was soon put on a ventilator.
"It's confusing to think, how can she had been progressing and in a matter of hours, hours, it just turned," said Valerie.
According to Valerie, the hospital took Ashley off of the ventilator on Jan. 3 and she died, surrounded by her loved ones. "We were there, yeah, it was hard. As soon as they turned off the machine, that was it," Valerie said.
Ashley is survived by her husband and six sons: Zach, Jacob, Maverick, Jordan, Ryan and newborn Corey, who is now two weeks old.
"I see her in him," Wilber said of Corey. "I see all that in each of the kids."
Ashley's family has already faced tragedy over the past year and a half: the father of two of her sons died of a heart attack, while her sister died of an overdose eight months later, according to a GoFundMe page started by Valerie.
The fundraising page, which was created while Ashley was still in the hospital, has raised over $35,000 towards expenses for the family.
"Please, now more than ever, if you can give, any amount would be appreciated," Valerie wrote on the page after Ashley died. "And please, keep her beautiful boys in your prayers."
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