Paige Ruiz was a sister, a wife and a friend who cherished her new role as mom.
“She was over the moon with that. She loved being a mom,” said Ruiz’s mother Robin Zinsou.
Ruiz and her husband, Daniel, had a 2-year-old daughter Joanna in December 2018 and were expecting their second daughter, Celeste, in July.
Like many pregnant people, Ruiz was waiting to get vaccinated out of concern it may harm the baby, said Ruiz’s brother Cameron Zinsou.
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“She was unvaccinated because there had been no kind of guidance about the efficacy of vaccination for pregnant women,” Cameron Zinsou said. “We know it was presented to pregnant women as an option but was not strongly recommended as an option until around three weeks ago and that was around the time she got sick.”
Ruiz tested positive for COVID-19 the week before her due date.
Her family said her symptoms worsened and she was admitted to the hospital.
“That’s when they did the emergency C-section and she was in the ICU ever since,” Robin Zinsou said.
Paige died August 15, 13 days after delivering a healthy baby girl.
“As Paige's mom, it was difficult to see her, knowing she didn't get to see her baby. But we did video chat, so she got to see her that way. We let Paige be a mom to Celeste in a different way and that’s how we coped with that,” Robin Zinsou said.
Last week, the CDC issued new data strengthening its recommendation that pregnant women get vaccinated.
In late July, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, the two leading organizations representing specialists in obstetric care, recommend that all pregnant individuals be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Cameron Zinsou says Ruiz was a healthy 32-year-old woman whose death was preventable.
“I was supposed to have 50 more years of my life to be around my sister,” he said.
In the days leading up to her death, family members say Ruiz texted friends and family with a final wish.
“If you know anyone that’s not vaccinated, beg them to get vaccinated, wear your mask and get vaccinated and that’s Paige’s last message,” Robin Zinsou said.