Phoenix mother of six dies of COVID-19 after giving birth to twins two months early

PHOENIX — A Phoenix woman who gave birth to a pair of twins eight weeks early because of complications related to a COVID-19 diagnosis has died, family members told multiple news outlets.

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Veronica Bernal, 36, tested positive for COVID-19 around Christmastime, KPNX reported.

“She just woke up in the middle of the night screaming, saying to me she couldn’t breathe,” Bernal’s husband, Manuel Medina, told the news station.

Bernal went to Phoenix’s Banner Estrella Medical Center, where doctors put her on a ventilator and started dialysis, KPNX reported. Her condition was serious enough to prompt doctors to induce her labor at seven months, family members said on a GoFundMe page launched to help Medina.

On Jan. 6, Bernal gave birth to Manuel Jr. and Mariyah. She died on Jan. 25, before she had a chance to hold the newborns, KPNX reported.

“For her to be taken so quick … it’s hard for me to just think of and imagine,” Medina told KSAZ-TV. “She’s never going to get to see them grow up. She’s not going to get to be part of their lives anymore or anything because of all this.”

Bernal’s death left Medina a single father of three young children: Manuel Jr., Mariyah and 10-month-old Christopher. Bernal also has three other children, KSAZ-TV reported.

On a GoFundMe page launched by Medina’s sister, family members remembered Bernal as “a beautiful, loving, and compassionate person.”

“It hurts so much because there was nothing I could do,” Medina told KSAZ-TV. “You really don’t know how much and how real (COVID-19) is until it really hits hard close to home, and somebody’s taken from you.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, 27.1 million people across the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID-19, resulting in over 465,000 deaths, according to a tally from John Hopkins University. Worldwide, 106.6 million people have gotten COVID-19, resulting in 2.3 million deaths.