Chris Smith said he and his wife Ashley decided to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but tested positive before they could make an appointment

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Ashley Smith
Credit: gofundme

Chris Smith says his wife was the reason he "woke up every day," which is why he wants to give her the funeral she deserves.

Ashley died of COVID-19 complications on Sept. 10 after a month-long hospitalization, which included spending 28 days in a coma, Chris detailed in a GoFundMe campaign he created to raise funds for her burial and funeral service.

At the time she was admitted into the hospital in August, she was 13 weeks pregnant, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal. She had a miscarriage just three days later.

"Words can't describe the pain I'm in & I'm not going to try because honestly, [there] is only one thing I care about left in my life at this current time and I wish to ask all of you to assist me and come together in this time if not for me but for Ashley," Chris wrote on the donation page, which has raised over $12,000 as of Tuesday afternoon.

"Ashley found me in my darkest days and brought me back to life again, for that I owe Ashley my life," Chris said of his 30-year-old wife in one moving message on the page. "Ashley was the smile & my light."

"We will be united again Ashley Smith I love you I always have loved you more than you can ever imagine my princess," he added. "Half of My heart is in heaven with my Angel today for I will never be complete again..."

Her health battle began in late July, when Ashley first noticed signs she had been infected with the virus. Soon after, Chris developed symptoms as well, although he never had to be hospitalized.

In an interview with the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Chris said Ashley went to an emergency room near their home in Volusia County, Florida, on Aug. 8.

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Though she hoped she would be able to go home after getting a prescription to help her fight the virus, Ashley was admitted into the hospital.

While she was there, doctors performed three ultrasound tests in the days that followed, and on Aug. 11, they were no longer able to detect a heartbeat, Chris wrote on GoFundMe.

"I will love you Ashley Smith for the rest of my life & beyond with every beat of my heart and you will make it out of this nightmare I know you will," Chris wrote in a message written while his wife was hospitalized.

Ashley was placed on a ventilator on Aug. 14 after her oxygen levels continued to plunge, and she never recovered, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Chris told the News-Journal that he and Ashley decided to get vaccinated a week before they tested positive for COVID-19, but were ultimately unable to make an appointment in time.

Chris told the outlet he and Ashley met online seven years ago and had been "stuck together" ever since.

"This was the best seven years of my life ever since I met her It was the best, the best life I could have ever hoped for myself," he said. "Anything that comes after this is just living."

As of Tuesday afternoon, 55 percent of the country is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the New York Times. More than 137,290 new cases of the virus were reported on Sept. 20.

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.