Warm Southern Breeze

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Another One Bites The Dust: Pregnant Alabama RN & Fetus Die of COVID-19

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 5, 2021

Family says, “We’re glad she’s not suffering.”

Alabama Family On Pregnant RN & Fetus Dead from COVID
Published: Aug. 23, 2021, 5:39 p.m. – Updated: Aug. 24, 2021, 7:27 a.m.

Haley Richardson, RN, a 32-year old Labor and Delivery Nurse who worked at Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, FL and lived in Theodore, AL in Mobile County, died of COVID-19 on August 20, 2021. She was NOT vaccinated. The baby within her – whom she had named Ryleigh Beth – had died 2 days before she did.

Her widower, Jordan Richardson, will be taking care of Katie, their 3-year old daughter whom she orphaned. She was pregnant with the couple’s second child, which died in utero 2 days before she did.

Haley and Jordan Richardson with daughter Katie.

Jason Whatley, a family friend whose wife was maid of honor at Haley’s wedding, reported that Haley contracted COVID-19 in late July or early August, about three weeks before she died, and said that, “She was home sick for about a week and then her heart rate went up.”

Haley was initially admitted to the University of South Alabama Health system’s Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Mobile, then after a few days, was transported to the ICU at USA Health’s main hospital campus also in Mobile.

Haley’s mother, Julie Mulkey said, “After about three or four days in the hospital, the OB told her that she was going to lose the baby. And she continued to get worse and worse. At some point, they basically told her that we’ve got to start treating you as if you didn’t have a child. We’ve got to do what we can for you because the baby is going to pass anyway.”

Mr. Whatley said physicians treating Haley had earlier placed her on a transfer waiting list to the University of Alabama at Birmingham hospital to be connected to a ECMO (Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation) machine, sometimes also called a “heart/lung machine,” which artificially oxygenates the blood when the lungs are no longer capable of so doing, by pumping blood outside the body, removing carbon dioxide, oxygenating the blood, rewarming it, and then pumping it back into the body.

However, Haley’s condition deteriorated so rapidly, that option was no longer a possibility.

Mr. Whatley said, “Unfortunately, within about a 24-hour period, she got worse to where she was no longer stable enough for them to transport her.”

On August 9, Haley made her final post to Facebook, and wrote in part that,

“Here in the dark, in the wee hours of the morning, it is so easy to pretend that all of this was just a nightmare or that I’m just here in this hospital bed due to my own issues with Covid. Not for anything being wrong with my sweet baby girl whom I thought I was protecting in my own womb.

“I know the prognosis and I know the reality. And while part of me may start to acknowledge this, the other part of me still believes God is still the God of miracles and is in control above all else. I hope and pray for miracles, but having said that I am also praying for his will to be done. If there has ever been a time to ask for something to be taken out of my own hands and put in his, it is now.”

Haley’s condition continually deteriorated in hospital, and she was put on a ventilator 4 days before she died.

According to her mother, she purposely declined the COVID-19 vaccine because, “Haley had had anaphylaxis reactions in the past. So for that reason, she felt that it was not safe for her.”

The proliferation of lies about the vaccines, which run as rampant on social media as the virus does in states and areas with low vaccination rates, was partially responsible for Haley’s vaccine hesitation, because she believed those lies which made her fearful.

Mrs. Mulkey said, “And then, of course, with all the negative reporting that has gone on, what was she to believe about what the vaccine would do to reproduction? Stuff about that it would destroy a female’s eggs and that kind of thing, and she wanted to have her second baby. That made her afraid to get it.”

Haley’s former employer, Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, FL is requiring all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19  by November, but Haley unwisely decided to wait until after she delivered her baby, before she would take the vaccine. She was 6 months pregnant when she, and the fetus, died.

Mrs. Mulkey, Haley’s mother, said, “We talked about it several times. She said at one point that she had about made up her mind to do it. And she just… she just couldn’t quite get it done. If she had had the information that has come out since this happened to her, yes, she would have gotten it.”

“Since her illness, we have found that this is hitting many, many pregnant women that are 26-27 weeks into their pregnancies. And the baby died 2 days before she would have been 27 weeks. So I understand there’s quite a few women in UAB in the same shape.”

Mrs. Mulkey said that her daughter Haley’s death has since motivated her, her other daughter, and neighbors, to get vaccinated.

“I had held off on getting my own shot. Now I have done that, the second one’s coming up later this week. My older daughter is the same way. And we have a couple across the street from us who are expecting, and one afternoon I just barreled over there, and I said, ‘Look, if you haven’t done it, go get it done.’ It’s absolutely had a big bearing on our opinion. Watching what my precious daughter went through was indescribably hard.”

Dr. Karen Leigh Samples, MD, Department Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children, said there is no reason why pregnant women should hesitate to get vaccinated, and that there is no evidence that the vaccine has any affect upon a woman’s fertility.

Dr. Samples said, “Claims linking COVID-19 vaccines to infertility are unfounded and have no scientific evidence supporting them. The ACOG recommends vaccination for all eligible people who may consider future pregnancy.”

The ACOG is the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommends that all pregnant women get the vaccine if they have not already done so, and that vaccine data continues demonstrating that the 3 COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. are safe for women in all stages of pregnancy, including for women who are thinking of becoming pregnant, and women who are breastfeeding.

Physicians with UAB Hospital in Birmingham reported last week that 7 of the 10 pregnant women in their ICU with COVID-19, were on ventilators.

UAB hospital physician Dr. Akila Subramaniam, MD replied, “simply, yes,” when asked if the rise in the COVID-19 Delta variant was responsible for their admissions, and if failure to be vaccinated was the cause of their infection.

Alabama has some of the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates nationally, and has been particularly hard hit by the Delta variant, espcially in Mobile and Baldwin counties on the Gulf Coast in south Alabama, where some the state’s greatest number of COVID-19 cases are located.

The increase in cases in Mobile and Baldwin counties began around early August, when now-deceased Nurse Haley Richardson, RN became infected.

Several ICUs in south Alabama hospitals are now over capacity, although there has been an insignificantly minor decline in recent days, yet the entire state is approaching record-breaking numbers of COVID hospitalizations, placing many in peril of rationed care.

Dr. Rendi Murphree, MS, PhD, a Career Epidemiology Field Officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, assigned to the Tennessee Department of Health, Communicable and Environmental Diseases and Emergency Preparedness, and on temporary loan to the Mobile County, Alabama Public Health Department, said that since the pandemic began, Mobile County had seen 960 deaths from COVID-19 and nearly 60,000 total cases of COVID-19.

Vccination rates are beginning to increase, however slightly, as the variant rips the national fabric, claiming victim, after victim, after victim, after victim.

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