Ariz. mom dies from COVID 12 days after welcoming daughter

COVID-19 killed Denise Cotton less than two weeks after she underwent an emergency C-section to deliver Kara, her daughter.

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A Phoenix, Arizona woman has died less than two weeks after giving birth to her daughter.

Denise Cotton tested positive for COVID-19 in August after going to the hospital with flu-like symptoms. She first tested negative, but returned three days later when her symptoms worsened. The 36-weeks-pregnant Cotton tested positive on her second visit. 

The 31-year-old underwent an emergency C-section to deliver her child, and she remained in the hospital. Cotton ultimately got worse, and on Sept. 13 — 12 days after she gave birth to baby Kara — she died. 

In a GoFundMe.com effort to help raise funds to care for their newborn daughter, Cotton’s boyfriend, Mike Jerome, wrote of his love: “Due to Covid she was not allowed visitors and was not even allowed to hold her newborn baby girl. She seemed to go back and forth. some days she would make progress and others she would worsen.” 

COVID-19 has killed Arizona resident Denise Cotton less than two weeks after she underwent an emergency C-section to deliver her daughter. (Photo: GoFundMe.com)

“Unfortunately,” Jerome continued, “on 09/13/2021 her body would stop responding to treatment and she started to decline quickly. So much so that life support was removed and she passed away that day at 1:10 pm. She left behind her daughter Kara who is is now doing much better and being cared for me by her father. Caring for a newborn is a full-time job and I have not been able to work while I care for her.”

“Denise was loved by many people and brought love and joy to all she came across,” he shared. “It was her friends who prompted me to start this page so they could help and show some love back.” 

Jerome told a local news affiliate Cotton was not vaccinated during her pregnancy. “Obviously looking back, I wish she had gotten vaccinated sooner,” he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended vaccination for pregnant women as studies have shown it to be safe for them, and it may provide some antibodies for their babies. 

(Credit: Michael Jerome/GoFund Me)

“CDC encourages all pregnant people or people who are thinking about becoming pregnant and those breastfeeding to get vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky in an statement last month. “The vaccines are safe and effective, and it has never been more urgent to increase vaccinations as we face the highly transmissible Delta variant and see severe outcomes from COVID-19 among unvaccinated pregnant people.”

According to reports, more than 150 pregnant women have died from COVID-19. 

Jerome told Fox10 Phoenix he tells his newborn daughter every day how much her mother loved her. “It’s hard, he said, “because I see her mother in her face when I look at her.”

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