Pregnant nurse who refused COVID vaccine over fertility fears loses unborn child and dies

Hospital bed
Photo credit GettyImages
By , Audacy

A pregnant nurse from Alabama who worked in the labor and delivery unit and refused to get the COVID vaccine because of rumored and unproven side effects has died of COVID-19 along with her unborn child.

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Halley Mulkey Richardson was just 32 when she died this week from COVID-19. Richardson worked as a registered nurse at Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital in Florida.

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Richardson was living with her husband Jordan and young daughter Katie in a suburb of Mobile, Alabama when she contracted the virus. Doctors don't know if she was infected at the hospital or not, but it is believed she caught it sometime in late July or early August.

Family reported the mother had decided not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as she was openly worried about suffering from life-threatening allergic reactions and after hearing unproven claims that the shot would affect fertility.

Julie Mulkey, her mother, told Alabama.com that "Haley had anaphylaxis reactions in the past. So for that reason, she felt that it was not safe for her."

"And then, of course, with all the negative reporting that has gone on, what was she to believe about what the vaccine would do to reproduction," she added.

"Stuff about that it would destroy a female's eggs and that kind of thing, and she wanted to have her second baby. That made her afraid to get it."

Reports have recently come out from the CDC that argues the opposite, strongly advising pregnant or soon-to-be pregnant women to receive the vaccine.

Richardson lost her unborn child, Ryleigh Beth, on Aug. 18, around the six-month pregnancy mark. Two days later, Richardson died.

"It's really hard. It's hard to accept, it's hard to face. We're glad she's not suffering anymore," said Mulkey. "After about three or four days in the hospital, the [obstetrician] told her that she was going to lose the baby. And she continued to get worse and worse."

Once she was in critical condition, Richardson was transferred to USA Health Children's and Women's hospital in Mobile, where she wasn't allowed any visitors.

"At some point, they basically told her that we've got to start treating you as if you didn't have a child. We've got to do what we can for you because the baby is going to pass anyway," Mulkey added.

Mulkey also shared that her daughter contacted her, scared, while in the hospital.

"Haley did call me crying, that she was going to lose the baby. And that she was down there by herself when that happened," she said.

Richardson wrote on Facebook before her unborn child passed, saying, "Here in the dark, in the wee hours of the morning, it is so easy to pretend that all of this was just a nightmare or that I'm just here in this hospital bed due to my own issues with COVID.

"Not for anything being wrong with my sweet baby girl whom I thought I was protecting in my own womb. I know the prognosis, and I know the reality. And while part of me may start to acknowledge this, the other part of me still believes God is still the God of miracles and is in control above all else."

Richardson ended the post by saying, "I hope and pray for miracles, but having said that, I am also praying for his will to be done. If there has ever been a time to ask for something to be taken out of my own hands and put in his, it is now."

Richardson was able to say goodbye to her mother, husband, daughter, and mother-in-law before she passed, according to Alabama.com.

After she passed, her husband Jordan took to Facebook grieving the loss of his wife.

"Words cannot describe the devastation that I feel, so I will not try to explain it. I know you are now watching over Katie and I and will continue to help guide us on our path. I love you so much and will always love you," the post said. "So this is just goodbye to your earthly life, but I know one day I will be able to say hello to your heavenly one, and that day shall be the happiest of all of my life. So until then, just know I love you with everything that I am."

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