FONTANA, Calif. (KCAL/KCBS) - A California family is in mourning after the death of a 27-year-old mother of three. She lost the battle with COVID-19 just weeks after giving birth.
Nicolas Shaw is raising his three young daughters, one just weeks old, as a single dad after losing his wife, 27-year-old Leslie Shaw, to COVID-19.
“She loved me for me. It didn’t matter if I was broke or rich or bald or nothing,” Nicolas Shaw said.
In December, a pregnant Leslie Shaw was admitted to the hospital when she tested positive for COVID-19. She died nearly two weeks after a cesarean section delivery of her youngest daughter.
The mother never got to meet the newborn because she was in a medically induced coma at the time of delivery, but her widower says he’s going to do what he can to make sure all three girls grow up knowing their mom.
“My girls can do whatever they want. I’m not going to tell them no because I couldn’t tell my wife no. She did anything she wanted. I hope they learn that from her, and I hope I can teach that to them,” Nicolas Shaw said.
Leslie Shaw was a popular dance teacher who wanted to inspire kids. When the pandemic hit, she switched to virtual classes.
The Shaw family isn’t sure how the 27-year-old contracted COVID-19, but doctors say they’ve seen a disproportionate number of cases among Latinas. There has also been a rise in mortality related to COVID-positive pregnancies.
“Do not be scared of going to the hospital or the long waits. Pregnant women are at risk,” said Dr. Courtney Martin, the director of Maternity Services at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. She did not treat Leslie Shaw.
A local school administrator set up a GoFundMe to help Nicolas Shaw and his daughters. It has raised more than $30,000.