Mom with COVID-19 delivers baby she would never be able to hold: 'Mom was about to go to heaven'

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Vanessa Cardenas Gonzalez died Dec. 14 in Los Angeles after battling COVID-19 complications. She had been isolated from her baby since its birth.
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Vanessa Cardenas Gonzalez and husband Alfonso Gonzalez celebrated the news that Vanessa was expecting a girl at a live-streamed gender reveal party in July. (Photo: Courtesy Alfonso Gonzalez)

Weeks before she was diagnosed with COVID-19, Vanessa Cardenas Gonzalez picked the name "Heaven" for the child she would soon deliver — her first girl.

That name now comforts the husband she left behind, who cares for the daughter Vanessa never held.

"The name is prophetic of what was about to happen to mom," Alfonso Gonzalez told USA TODAY. "Mom was about to go to heaven."

Vanessa — the mother of two boys and newborn Heaven — died Dec. 14 in Los Angeles at the age of 33 after battling COVID-19 complications for about a month.

Heaven was born in November, before the worst of Vanessa's illness. But because Vanessa was positive for the virus at the time, the only interactions she had with her daughter were through video calls, family friend Desiree Vera — who has organized a crowdfunding campaign to benefit the family — told USA TODAY.

Vera, who became close with Vanessa and Alfonso through a church small group, knows the story is "heartbreaking."

Vanessa was a healthy young mother, who spent months eagerly…
Joel Shannon
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