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Joanna Jimenez leaves behind newborn Ashton, as well as sons Christian, 18 months, and Jordan, 15

By Ashley Boucher
March 02, 2021 05:21 PM
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Joanna Jimenez
Joanna Jimenez
| Credit: gofundme

A New Jersey mother of three is dead of COVID-19 after an undergoing an emergency delivery.

Joanna Jimenez had an emergency delivery on Feb. 13 because of her condition due to COVID-19, but didn't survive long enough to hold her baby boy before she died, ABC 7 reported.

Jimenez first became ill with COVID-19 at eight months pregnant.

"I'm just trying to stay strong," Jimenez's husband Chad Augustus told the news station, adding, "Every day I want to let my emotions out, but I'm trying to stay strong for the kids and the family."

In addition to newborn Ashton, Jimenez is survived by sons Christian, 18 months, and Jordan, 15.

Jimenez's best friend, Cynthia Sanchez, organized a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the siblings "while they try to navigate life without their beloved matriarch."

"It is with heavy hearts that we regretfully have to mourn the untimely passing of a loving mother, daughter, sister, friend and the beautiful joyful soul of Joanna Jimenez," Sanchez wrote in the GoFundMe. "She is a light of love, peace, and positivity which illuminated everyone around her."

"To say the least, she had so much life to live, love to give, and memories to make," Sanchez added.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the GoFundMe had raised more than $43,500 toward its $50,000 goal.

Jimenez's brother John told ABC 7 that he is "proud" of his sister for "the woman she became after she had kids," adding that the mom of three "dedicated her life to making sure her kids were good."

Sister Jacqueline Diaz added that the family will "celebrate her life each and every day."

Though the overall risk is low, pregnant women are at a higher risk of death and severe illness from COVID-19 than women who are not pregnant, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control published in November.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.