Rico Hernandez and his wife Crystal both grew up in Pasadena.
“We started dating in ninth grade and have been together ever since,” Hernandez said.
Together they had five children and Crystal was pregnant with their sixth child.
“She was always very, very, very loving,” Hernandez said of his wife. “She was goofy. She was always playing. She always had a big smile and she liked to laugh. She liked to have a good time. Playing and having fun.”
Hernandez said right after New Years Day, the duo tested positive for COVID-19.
“She started to feel tightness in her chest, and then her breathing got really, really short and really, really bad. Like she was having trouble speaking,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez said the two weren’t vaccinated because of their beliefs.
“Me and my wife, we talked about it,” Hernandez said. “She was pregnant so she had some concerns. It all happened so fast and it was forced on us very quickly and she just didn’t want to – she didn’t feel comfortable so I wasn’t going to go against his wishes.”
They decided that Crystal should be hospitalized. Hernandez said Crystal ended up being transferred to another hospital, where they told them Crystal had pneumonia due to COVID-19. A few days later, doctors performed an emergency C-section to deliver their son, Koda, who was born at 25 weeks.
“They said she was fine during the emergency C-section,” Hernandez said. “And that she found out afterwards and they were able to tell her that she had a healthy baby boy.”
Hernandez said that over the next two weeks he received updates from his wife’s doctors that his condition was improving, and then suddenly Crystal’s condition worsened.
“We couldn’t see her until she got close,” Hernandez said. “I wish I had hugged her tighter and held her for a long time before letting her go through those sliding doors.”
Crystal was only 27 when she died. Her newborn is still in the NICU, but Hernandez said he is very strong and doing well.
A close family friend created this GoFundMe page to help give Crystal a proper resting place.
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