A California community is rallying to raise donations after a 27-year-old woman passed away following an emergency Caesarean to give her unborn baby a chance to live, the Fresno Bee reports.
Charlene Flores was admitted to a Fresno area hospital in the early morning hours of October 24 after experienced pregnancy pains weeks before her baby’s due date. While her husband, Elesandro Flores Jr., did not want to leave her side, Charlene asked him to return home to take their three daughters to school.
But a short time after leaving, Elesandro received a call from his wife asking him to come back — and it would be the last time the two would speak.
“She FaceTimes me and says I need you here right now,” 30-year-old Elesandro recalled to KFSN.
Charlene had begun to bleed internally while at the hospital and doctors said she needed to undergo an emergency Caesarean section to save the baby’s life.
According to Mayo Clinic, while Caesarean sections are common and save lives, they involve numerous risks for the mother, including infections, blood clots, cardiac arrest and postpartum hemorrhages. Because Charlene had heart problems and underwent a surgery last summer, there were added risks in going through with surgery, the Bee reported.
While she initially survived the operation, once Elesandro was able to return to the hospital, things quickly turned for the worst.
“So the doctors come back to me in the room saying your baby’s being worked on, your wife’s asleep,” he told KFSN.
He continued: “And then [I] heard code blue. This lady comes to our door area and says, ‘We need you, doctor,’ and the doctor rushes back there. And then 20 minutes later the rest of the doctors and nurses flow in the room and tell me that my wife didn’t make it but my daughter’s in an incubator getting her treatment.”
The couple’s newborn daughter, Quinn Nevaeh Flores, survived the ordeal but will remain in the NICU for the next few weeks after being born prematurely.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for Charlene’s funeral, which has been set for Saturday.
“Before leaving she left us a parting gift of her everlasting love for us through her and her husband’s miracle baby Quinn Nevaeh Flores,” the donation page reads. “We ask in this time of grieving you keep all of those she knew in your prayers.”
With the help of hundreds of donors, the GoFundMe page has raised more than $12,000 so far.
Now, Elesandro and his other daughters — Lanyssa Vasquez, 12; Kiara Flores, 12; Adriene Flores, 8 — are doing their best to heal after the loss of Charlene.
“I told my kids, you’re [an] extension of your mother,” Flores told KFSN. “You guys are women, and you guys are going to be my life, you guys are going to take that role, you guys are going to take care of me, and I know you will, and they have.”