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Fla. mother dies of COVID-19 days after giving birth

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 3:37 AM EDT
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WEST MELBOURNE, Fla. (Gray News) - A Florida family is heartbroken over the death of a new mother from COVID-19 just days after her baby girl was born via emergency C-section.

Kristen McMullen, 30, only got to hold her newborn daughter, Summer, for a couple of photos before the mother was taken to the intensive care unit with a worsening case of COVID-19, Florida Today reports.

Baby Summer was delivered July 27 via emergency C-section. Her mother had been admitted to the hospital less than a week prior – about three weeks before her due date – with a positive COVID test and related pneumonia.

Kristen McMullen, 30, only got to hold her daughter, Summer, for a few moments after giving...
Kristen McMullen, 30, only got to hold her daughter, Summer, for a few moments after giving birth via emergency C-section. The mother, who had COVID-19, was then taken to the ICU, where her condition worsened. She died 10 days after her little girl was born.(Source: GoFundMe)

After Summer’s birth, all of McMullen’s interactions with her baby girl were virtual. She communicated with relatives via FaceTime from the ICU.

“She couldn’t interact. But at least she could see Summer while she was being cared for and just look at her. And then her breathing just progressively got worse,” said Melissa Syverson, McMullen’s aunt, in a conversation with Florida Today.

McMullen’s condition worsened, with her first needing oxygen then a ventilator. She died Friday, 10 days after her daughter’s birth.

After Summer’s birth, all of McMullen’s interactions with her baby girl were virtual. She...
After Summer’s birth, all of McMullen’s interactions with her baby girl were virtual. She communicated with relatives via FaceTime from the ICU.(Source: GoFundMe)

“She was an amazing person and very bubbly. Loved her family,” Syverson said. “She was the person that would walk in the door with game boards in her hand and want everybody to sit down and play games for hours together and just laugh and have a good time.”

McMullen always dreamed of being a mother. She and her husband were excited to become parents after years of trying to conceive, WOFL reports.

Her family wants people to know that pregnant women are more susceptible to COVID-19. The CDC warns that pregnant people and those who were recently pregnant have an increased risk for severe illness from the virus.

McMullen's husband, Keith, is now grieving her death as he learns to take care of his baby girl.
McMullen's husband, Keith, is now grieving her death as he learns to take care of his baby girl.(Source: GoFundMe)

Doctors believe McMullen was infected with the delta variant, according to WOFL.

The family set up a GoFundMe to help McMullen’s husband with expenses as he grieves and learns to take care of baby Summer. Syverson told Florida Today the little girl is doing well.

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