New Jersey mother dies of COVID just days after giving birth to her third child

PATERSON, NJ (WABC) – On one of the most difficult days of their lives, Joanna Jiménez’s family talked about their latest joyous reunion: their baby shower.

Baby Ashton was born on February 13; It was an emergency delivery because Jiménez was fighting COVID. His mother lost the battle and never had a chance to hold the baby that she carefully carried for almost nine months.

Jiménez leaves behind his three children: 15-year-old Jordan, 18-month-old Christian and baby Ashton. She also leaves behind her devastated husband, Chad Augustus.

“I just try to stay strong … every day I want to let out my emotions, but I try to stay strong for the kids and the family,” Augustus said.

The family has started a GoFundMe page to help their three children start their lives, without the mother that family and friends called ‘the glue of the reunion’.

“I have had so many experiences and memories with her, she has always been by my side,” said best friend Cynthia Sánchez.

“I am very proud of her for the woman she became after having children; she dedicated her life to making sure her children were good,” said her brother, John Jimenez.

Love still flows in the family: they all decided to let Jiménez’s heartbroken mother, Ashton’s grandmother, take the lead in her care. They say it eases her sadness over losing her daughter.

“So now we just have to celebrate her life every day,” said her sister, Jacqueline Diaz.

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