SURREY (NEWS 1130) — A Surrey woman hospitalized due to COVID-19 was able to record a voice memo for her newborn daughter right before she was put into an induced coma and taken into critical care last month. Her husband plays it for their baby every day while he prays that his wife will recover.
Shaheena Flores-Patel and her husband Ely are both essential workers in their 30s and contracted the virus in early March. Shaheena, a nurse, was seven months pregnant at the time.
Their story is detailed in a GoFundMe campaign set up by Ely’s brother.
It says that on March 9 Ely, an electrician, drove his wife to the hospital because she was struggling to breathe. She was immediately admitted to the ICU. According to a GoFundMe, the couple is believed to have become infected at work.
Two days later — when she was 33 weeks pregnant — doctors decided they needed to deliver the baby.
“Shaheena was awake and was able to get a three-second glimpse of her new daughter, Aaliyah, before her premie was taken to the NICU,” the online fundraiser says.
For 10 days, Shaheena remained in the ICU, eagerly anticipating meeting her daughter. But then her condition deteriorated.
“Her body was unable to continue to fight on its own. She was taken to the Critical Care Unit at Royal Columbian Hospital and put in an induced coma, ventilator, and bypass machine,” the GoFundMe says.
Ely has recovered and was able to take Aaliyah home last week.
“Shaheena is still currently in an induced coma, on life support and fighting for her life. Ely is unable to visit her due to the strict Covid protocols of that unit but he faithfully calls her everyday and a nurse holds the phone to her ear so he can talk to her and encourage her.”
The online fundraiser was launched because Ely can’t work, and Shaheena’s future is uncertain.
“Once she wakes up, Shaheena will have a long road to recovery with months of rehabilitation and an uncertain timeline of when she will be strong and recovered enough to care for Aaliyah on her own,” it reads.
Our hope is to raise enough donations to provide for their financial needs for a few months. This will allow them to focus on caring for Aaliyah, in the midst of Shaheena’s ongoing health crisis and upcoming journey to full recovery. We ask you to help us remove the added burden of financial stress from their shoulders.”
It surpassed its $15,000 goal within days.
Editor’s note: Organizers of the GoFundMe campaign declined to provide an interview and have since requested that the story not be shared by news outlets. Given this was a public fundraising campaign in our community, we are sharing only details that have already been made public on the GoFundMe page.