Metro Detroit mother dies from COVID-19 days after giving birth

Family says the 33-year-old mother started having symptoms 4 weeks before giving birth

Mother dies from COVID-19 days after giving birth to son

DETROIT – A family from Metro Detroit and California mourns the loss of a mother who died from COVID-19 after giving birth to her son.

“She is going to leave a big void,” said Miguel Avilez, who lost his sister, 33-year-old Erika Becerra. “For us, her name means ‘Joy’ because she brought joy to everybody. No matter who you were, stranger, family member, she would bring joy to you.”

Becerra was four weeks from giving birth to her second child when she started feeling symptoms of COVID-19. At Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, they made the call to induce her labor, and on Nov. 15, baby Diego Antonio was born.

However, Becerra was getting worse. Before she went on a ventilator and Diego was taken away, she was able to share a moment with her newborn son.

“She was able to hold him for a little bit. She was able to speak to him. And after that, she just started declining,” Avilez said.

Becerra’s condition worsened, and on Dec. 3 -- with no underlying conditions beyond pregnancy -- she died of COVID-19.

While Avilez and the rest of the family from California mourn the her loss and celebrate her spirit, they also acknowledge the people who comforted her until her death.

“If you see a nurse, or if you see a doctor, thank them. They’re doing all they can. You see the strain in their faces. It’s very heartbreaking,” he said.

The family has set up a Go Fund Me account.

You can watch the full report in the video posted above.

About the Authors:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.

DeJanay Booth joined WDIV as a web producer in July 2020. She previously worked as a news reporter in New Mexico before moving back to Michigan.