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Mom with COVID dies after emergency birth of 6th child

Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 1:43 AM MST
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PASADENA, Texas (KTRK) - A Texas family is mourning the loss of a 27-year-old mother of six young children. She died after battling COVID-19 and pneumonia related to the virus.

Rico Hernandez and his wife, Crystal Hernandez, both grew up in Pasadena, Texas. They were high school sweethearts who started dating in the 9th grade. Crystal was pregnant with their sixth child, a boy named Koda, when the couple caught COVID-19.

“She was very, very loving. She was goofy, always playing around, always had a big smile, and she loved to laugh,” Rico Hernandez said.

Crystal Hernandez, 27, died after battling COVID-19 and pneumonia caused by the virus. While...
Crystal Hernandez, 27, died after battling COVID-19 and pneumonia caused by the virus. While fighting the virus, she gave birth to her sixth child, a boy named Koda.(Source: Rico Hernandez, KTRK via CNN)

After New Year’s Day, the couple tested positive for COVID-19, and days later, Crystal Hernandez was admitted to the hospital. She was 24 weeks pregnant at the time.

Rico Hernandez says he and his wife were not vaccinated due to their beliefs.

“We talked about it. She was pregnant, so there were concerns. It all happened so fast,” he said.

By Jan. 6, doctors performed an emergency C-section, and baby Koda was born at 25 weeks old. The baby tested negative for COVID-19.

Doctors say Crystal Hernandez was battling pneumonia caused by the virus. Just as she started showing signs of improvement, her husband says her condition took a turn for the worse. She was just 27 when she died.

“I wish I would have hugged her tighter and held her longer before I let her walk through those sliding doors,” Rico Hernandez said. “We didn’t get to see her until she was close.”

Baby Koda, born at 25 weeks, is still in the neonatal intensive care unit, but his father says...
Baby Koda, born at 25 weeks, is still in the neonatal intensive care unit, but his father says he is strong and doing well.(Source: Rico Hernandez, KTRK via CNN)

Rico Hernandez struggled deciding to share his wife’s story. He says his oldest daughter gave him the strength when she told him she wants people to know who her mom was.

“I tell my babies to be proud of their mom because she was very strong. She fought to the very end,” he said.

Baby Koda is still in the neonatal intensive care unit, but his father says he is strong and doing well. A GoFundMe set up for the family has raised more than $8,000.

Copyright 2022 KTRK via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.