A nurse and mother of seven died from COVID-19 complications before she was even able to hold her newborn baby.
Tawauna Averette, a 42-year-old cardiac unit nurse at Kettering Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio, contracted the novel virus along with several other colleagues in October, per the Dayton Daily News.
When she began showing symptoms while pregnant with her seventh child, her family thought she had come down with a head cold.
However, she tested positive for COVID-19 soon after and was admitted into the intensive care unit with respiratory issues, WHIO-TV reports.
From there, she was reportedly “on and off a ventilator and a BIPAP machine.”
While in the ICU, she gave birth to her daughter, Skye, six weeks early via C-section.
On Sunday, her husband, Charles Averette, got a phone call from the hospital after his wife’s heart stopped beating for 10 minutes.
“I rushed to the hospital. They were telling me like, that it wasn’t looking good,” he said.
She passed away on Tuesday.
"It’s hard," he told the outlet, adding, "She was everything for us, and we don't have her no more."
Because of the illness, she was not able to hold Skye before she passed away.
"[Nurses] took the baby out of the room – that was it," Tawauna’s friend, Kellye Albes-Fisher, said.
Charles said Tawauna, who was previously hospitalized with pneumonia, took every precaution to avoid getting the virus as she was considered high-risk.
"We knew ... she would be susceptible to it, but ... it got her, " he said.
Both Charles and Skye are doing well at home. They did not contract the virus.
A spokesperson for Kettering Health Network released a statement to PEOPLE following her death: "We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Tawauna Averette. She was a beloved and valued member of our Kettering Health Network team, and our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends in this time of loss."
A GoFundMe campaign was set up to support her family during this tough time.