Story at a glance:
- An unvaccinated, pregnant nurse died from COVID-19, leaving behind her husband and another daughter.
- After 10 days in the hospital, she lost her baby due to COVID-19 complications.
- Two days later, the mother also passed away.
An unvaccinated, pregnant nurse died from COVID-19, leaving behind her husband and their nearly 3-year-old daughter.
Haley Richardson, a 32-year-old labor and delivery nurse in Theodore, Ala., was more than six months pregnant with her second child when she became ill, ABC News reported.
As Changing America previously reported, symptoms that may appear to be minor, including sinus congestion, runny nose and sore throat, can also be signs that patients have the delta variant. What Haley Richardson reportedly thought was a sinus infection in late July worsened into more typical COVID-19 symptoms, including fatigue, loss of smell and taste.
"She knew how overrun the hospitals were and she didn't want to put a burden on anybody else," her husband Jordan Richardson, who also had COVID-19 but only displayed minor symptoms, told ABC News. "She knew what we thought we should be looking for in watching her oxygen levels and her heart rate and keeping those where they needed to be. We were doing everything we knew to do."
Haley Richardson decided it was best to self isolate herself from her family, but eventually her oxygen levels became dangerously low, and she was rushed into a hospital on Aug. 8. Things got gradually worse: She was placed in an intensive care unit (ICU) and later put on a ventilator.
Throughout the ordeal, her pregnancy was in distress and after 10 days in the hospital, on Aug. 18, the Richardsons lost their baby due to COVID-19 complications.
Two days later, Haley Richardson passed away — but not before convincing a friend to get vaccinated, reported ABC News.
"A friend of ours said once she talked to Haley and talked about all the stuff that had gone on, that Haley had convinced her to go get a vaccine," Jordan Richardson told the news outlet. "And the friend was someone who was very much against it."
According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about three-fourths of pregnant people in the U.S. have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration has approved COVID-19 vaccines for use in pregnant patients, who are more likely to become severely ill if infected. Jordan told ABC News that his wife believed in getting vaccinated, but was concerned about the vaccine's side effects on pregnant women.
"When we were trying to get pregnant, we talked to a bunch of different people, and at that time there just wasn't a whole lot of research on the vaccine to know if it was going to be safe for the baby. We weren't worried about it for us, but just didn't want to have complications with the baby. We were just going to wait until after the baby was born," he told ABC News.
As Changing America previously reported, Alabama ranks seventh among the states with the most rapidly accelerating outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S.
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