Grieving Family Warns of COVID’s Awful Toll During Pregnancy

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Oct. 8, 2021 — If 22-month old Karter Bergeron wants to hear his mother’s voice, he pushes a button on the paw of teddy bear that plays a recording.

“We found a video where she said, ‘I love you,’” says Amie Reaux, Karter’s grandmother. “We put that in the bear. He holds his bear quite often.”

Karter last saw his mother, 24-year-old Keighlie Reaux, in late July, when she dropped him off with his grandmother in Youngsville, LA, for what was supposed to be an overnight stay.

Keighlie was almost 9 months respiratory system and also seems to be associated with [an increased risk of blood clots] — in the right individual — would lead to complications and increased morbidity and, unfortunately, mortality,” says Mary Healy, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics and infectious diseases at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital.

“The other factor that I think you have to build in is that we also know that COVID-19 causes increased problems in people with underlying health issues, and you know, we have a pregnant population that has those underlying health issues,” says Healy, pointing to recent increases in conditions like a ventilator on Aug. 9. Both of her lungs collapsed a few weeks later, and she died on Sept. 12.

Keighlie’s mother and father are now caring for Krew and Karter. Friends are raising money to help the family on GoFundMe.

If she could do anything differently, Amie Reaux says, “I would definitely try to get them vaccinated.”

Reaux says she would tell other pregnant women to avoid large crowds and wear masks and much as possible. “Be very cautious of your surroundings,” she says. “You have to protect yourself.”

And perhaps most importantly, make a plan.

“You need to make sure everything is planned out,” Amie says, noting that doing even the simplest things for Krew, like getting him a birth certificate and getting him circumcised, has been a struggle. “There’s a lot that needs to be discussed.”