Emily Robison was just 22 when she died last month due to complications from COVID-19, leaving behind a newborn girl she has never met.
Robison, of Fort Smith, Arkansas, was nearly seven months pregnant when she was hospitalized with COVID-19 in mid-August, according to her husband, Eric Robison.
She was put on a ventilator, then started to decline so quickly that doctors had to perform an emergency Caesarean section about two months before her due date.
The Robisons’ daughter, their first child, whom they named Carmen, was born on August 25.
Less than a month after giving birth, on September 20, Emily Robison, who was not vaccinated against COVID-19, died.
“She was on life support until her death and didn’t know she had given birth,” said Eric Robison, 23.Hello america“, adding that his wife had long wanted to become a mother, saying:” Every time I came home she spoke to Carmen [during pregnancy]. It was like they were best friends already. “
With the death of his wife, Eric Robison suddenly became a single father, and one who was not yet prepared with baby supplies because their daughter had been born two months earlier.
Her hard road has hit Ashlee Schwarz, a nurse in the intensive care unit at Mercy Hospital, where Emily Robison was treated.
Schwartz, a mother of two young children, looked after Emily Robison for a day in intensive care, about a week before her death.
“I knew she was maxed out on the fan settings and was beyond sick,” Schwartz said. “One day I saw Eric at the end of the hall, sitting on a chair and staring at a glass door [to his wife’s room] and it broke my heart. “
When Schwartz learned that Emily Robison had given birth, she searched online for a family baby registry so that she could give a gift. When she learned that there was no registry and that the couple had very few items ready for the baby, she took action.
Schwartz started a pay-it-forward baby registry to stock Carmen’s nursery with essentials like a crib, clothes, bottles and diapers.
“I said to Eric, ‘I’ll do my best to get you everything you need’ and it all took off from there,” she said. “I felt so called to help.”
Just weeks after the baby registry began, it had been filled, thanks to donations from Schwartz’s colleagues as well as community members and complete strangers from across the country.
A GoFundMe account created by Schwartz to help Eric Robison and Carmen also raised over $ 1,000.
“I told him, ‘I’m here for life. I will always make sure that you and Carmen always have what you need, ”said Schwartz, who said Eric Robison is now like a brother to her and Carmen like a niece, said. “As a community, we will always make sure they have what they need.”
Eric Robison said he was overwhelmed by the generosity of Schwartz and others. Carmen is expected to be released from the neonatal intensive care unit, where she has been treated since birth, this week, and she will return home to a home full of supplies and love.
“It has been all so overwhelming and it’s really amazing to know that so many people care,” said Eric Robison. “I want everyone to know who has already donated, who will donate, who has ever prayed for my family, thank you very much. I can’t even express the gratitude I have. I appreciate it more than ‘they will never understand. “
He continued, “I can’t wait for Carmen to get old and I can tell her all the support she’s had.”
Robison said that for more than a month that his wife was hospitalized, he saw the kindness of nurses like Schwartz in action every day.
“I have never known the kindness and strength of nurses, prayers to all the treatments they give to help patients,” he said. “I literally watched nurses work until they collapsed in chairs because they were trying to help so many people.”