Robin Zinsou says she urged her pregnant daughter to get a Covid-19 vaccine, but the 32-year-old educator was afraid it might harm her unborn child.
Paige Ruiz tested positive for Covid-19 when she was nine months pregnant. and died in a Texas hospital of complications from the virus on August 15, just days after her second daughter, Celeste, was delivered by emergency C-section.
“It was my worst fear,” Zinsou told CNN’s John Berman on Tuesday.
Ruiz never got to hold her new baby, Zinsou said.
“As soon as Celeste was delivered, they whisked her away and when my daughter came to (after the surgery), they said … they had to keep each other separate because of the Covid,” Zinsou said.
They were able to arrange a video chat so Ruiz could see Celeste.
“That’s how we let Paige — figured out a way for her to mother her daughter,” Zinsou said.
Ruiz was coordinator of Student Learning Outcomes and Federal Programs at the Joshua Independent School District in Joshua, Texas, and had been middle school assistant principal there for four years before that, according to a statement from the district.
“Her dedication and passion to educating students will always be remembered along with her kindness to others,” the statement said.
Ruiz and her husband, Daniel, also have an older daughter named Joanna, according to a GoFundMe campaign set up by the family.
Zinsou told CNN that Celeste and Joanna are healthy and doing well.
She said her daughter held off on getting vaccinated because she was worried about her baby.
“She thought that there wasn’t enough information or data out there to say that she could confidently get vaccinated without harming the baby,” Zinsou said.
Ruiz got sick before the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) issued stronger new guidance urging pregnant women to get vaccinated.
After she had the baby, and her health started getting worse, Zinsou said her daughter texted her and said she wished that she had gotten vaccinated.
“I didn’t find out until after she passed (that) she was texting that same message to her sister and to her friends,” Zinsou said. “She wanted people to get vaccinated.”
Zinsou asked people to get masked up and get vaccinated “so this doesn’t happen to your family.”
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