In early November, Erika Becerra, who was eight months pregnant, had to spend two days in a hospital for observation after she started experiencing mild contractions. When she got home, she soon felt awful. "She called my mom that Monday morning [and said], 'Mom, I think they hurt me at the hospital, it hurts to breathe, it hurts to move, I don’t feel good,'" her brother tells BuzzFeed. She tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 7, was hospitalized by Nov. 11, and had deteriorated so much three days later that labor was induced. Her son was born Nov. 15—but she never even got to hold him. She was intubated almost immediately after the birth, the New York Times reports, and she was dead 18 days later. The 33-year-old had no other known health issues.
"Let's make Erika proud and raise awareness," reads a GoFundMe campaign set up for the family, which also includes a 1-year-old daughter. "She followed every rule in the book and she still ended up catching it and it's sad," her brother tells CNN. "You got a lot of people who don't understand what's going on ... they all think it's a joke until it happens to them or one of their family members." He says his sister would want her story shared as a warning to others to take the pandemic seriously. The newborn is doing fine, and he, his sister, and his dad have all tested negative for the coronavirus. (Read more coronavirus stories.)