Minnesota mom dies of coronavirus, weeks after giving birth on ventilator

A Minnesota mother infected with coronavirus will never get the chance to hold her newborn baby girl.

Aurora Chacon Esparza, 35, died on Sunday, just over three weeks after giving birth to her daughter through emergency C-section while on a ventilator.

Juan Duran, Aurora ‘s husband, wrote on a GoFundMe page that his wife was seven months pregnant when she began to experience symptoms of COVID-19 in the beginning of June. He states on the page that her first coronavirus test was negative and she was told to stay home by doctors in case the test was not accurate.

Duran told FOX9 KMSP-TV that the expectant mother began to experience nonstop coughing and difficulty breathing so she was admitted to North Memorial Hospital where she was eventually placed on a ventilator on June 19th. The father told the news outlet that she was a healthy woman with no pre-existing conditions. He described Esparza as “one of the strongest persons I’ve ever known.”


Esparza was expecting her third child. Four days after being intubated, the woman’s doctors said she needed an emergency C-section to save her life and the baby’s life. Duran told the local news station. “I was thinking, ‘OK, she’s going to get through this, a few days at the hospital.’ But when I received that phone call, it just hit me.”

While on a ventilator, Esparza delivered baby Andrea who was at 30 weeks gestation. The father says the baby is doing well and was around 4 pounds. After the delivery, Aurora’s health declined. According to the GoFundMe page, Duran said Esparza needed an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine) which does the work of the heart and lungs outside the body. He told KMSP –TV that North Memorial Hospital is not an ECMO center and attempts to transfer her to a facility with this machine were denied.


“Since Aurora has been on the ventilator for more than seven days, the ECMO machine would do more damage than help, according to the medical providers.” Duran wrote on the fundraising site.  He then delivered the heartbreaking news Sunday stating, “As of today, Sunday July 19th, she passed away in the early morning and now rests in peace with God.”

Duran also hoped his family’s story can serve as a warning for those who are not taking the deadly virus seriously or not taking precautions to keep their family healthy.

“Just be cautious because you could be healthy just like my wife and still end up in the ICU on the ventilator,” Duran told the outlet.

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