A pregnant Alabama nurse revealed just days before her death from COVID-19 her thoughts on her diagnosis.
Haley Mulkey Richardson, 32, died on Aug. 20. Richardson passed just two days after her little girl, whom she and her husband named Ryleigh Beth.
Richardson shared a note to her family and friends in a Facebook post on Aug. 9, that she was “praying” for a miracle.
“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,” she said. “Not for anything being wrong with my sweet baby girl whom I thought I was protecting in my own womb.”
She continued, “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. 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 a labor and delivery nurse at a hospital just over the border in Pensacola, Florida. She and her husband, Jordan Richardson, lived in Theodore with their 2-year-old daughter Katie.
Jordan revealed that Haley put off getting vaccinated against COVID-19 due to her concerns about her pregnancy.
“We were just worried that there may be complications from that standpoint with having a baby and once she was pregnant, so she was not vaccinated. I think she would have advocated for it though, knowing this would be the outcome,” Jordan told WKRG News 5.
Haley, who had no preexisting conditions other than her pregnancy, contracted the virus and her condition quickly worsened at the end of July.
“She was home sick for about a week and then her heart rate went up,” a family friend, Jason Whatley, whose wife was Haley’s maid of honor, told AL.com. “I guess that’s something they look for.”
Haley was admitted to the hospital in early August at nearly seven months pregnant, and “after about three or four days in the hospital, the [obstetrician] told her that she was going to lose the baby,” Whatley said. “And she continued to get worse and worse.”
“At some point, they basically told her that we’ve got to start treating you as if you didn’t have a child,” he continued. “We’ve got to do what we can for you because the baby is going to pass anyway.”
On Aug. 18, the couple’s baby died.
The nurse was put on a ventilator four days prior to her death on Aug. 20.
“It’s really hard,” her mother, Julie Mulkey, told AL.com. “It’s hard to accept, it’s hard to face. We’re glad she’s not suffering anymore.”
Whatley revealed how the family and doctors did everything they could to help nurse Haley.
“They wished she’d been vaccinated, but outside of that, when she got sick, they did all the right things. And she still died,” Whatley said. He and his wife have set up a GoFundMe page to help support the Richardsons.
Now, Mulkey and her other daughter have gotten their first vaccine dose, and are encouraging others to do the same.
“I had held off on getting my own shot,” Mulkey said. “Now I have done that, the second one’s coming up later this week. My older daughter is the same way. And we have a couple across the street from us who are expecting, and one afternoon I just barreled over there, and I said ‘look, if you haven’t done it, go get it done.’ “
“It’s absolutely had a big bearing on our opinion,” she added. “Watching what my precious daughter went through was indescribably hard.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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