Monique Jones was just 26-weeks-pregnant with her second child when she began to feel ill prior to giving birth. On Sept. 4 she was admitted to the hospital and put in the ICU after it was discovered she was battling severe COVID-19 symptoms.
Only two days later, Monique was quickly put on the highest form of life support, or, an ECMO machine.
ICU nurse Caitlyn Obrock cared for Monique while she was sedated — giving her words of encouragement as well as praying over her.
And amazingly enough, while Monique could not hear Caitlyn, she said she felt like she had a guardian angel.
As Monique’s condition worsened, the doctors decided to deliver her baby via C-section — and on Sept. 23, Zamyrah was born.
At just 2-pounds 5-ounces, Zamyrah was then transferred to the neonatal ICU at Children’s Hospital. Caitlyn and the other nurses would go onto print and post pictures of Zamyrah in Monique’s room so she would feel connected to her daughter.
After Zamyrah’s birth, Monique thankfully was able to get better and was taken off of the ECMO machine. And on Oct. 20, about a month after giving birth, she was able to hold her baby for the first time.
But Caitlyn’s kindness didn’t stop there. While Monique was in a rehab center learning to walk again, Caitlyn organized a baby shower for her — first opening it up to her nursing unit, then spreading it on social media. It quickly garnered attention and donations of gifts, diapers, wipes and money began to flow in.
Monique was discharged from the hospital first, and then on Dec. 10, so was Zamyrah. But both Monique and Caitlyn always kept in touch.
Then Monique popped a huge question: if she would be Zamyrah’s Godmother. Caitlyn accepted and is now part of the little girl’s life, forever.
Monique has created a GoFundMe account to cover medical expenses.
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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