FORT SMITH, Ark — An unvaccinated pregnant woman from Fort Smith is fighting for her life in the hospital.
River Valley couple Eric and Emma Robison have been married for four years and were expecting their first child in November. However, their daughter was born months before in August after the 22-year-old mother caught COVID.
“At first it really wasn’t a big deal,” said Eric Robison, speaking about his wife of four years. “She was just kind of sick, normal flu symptoms. And then she dwindled."
Eric Robison says after three with the virus, things got worse for his wife.
“She was completely a different person,” said Robison began speaking about his wife’s symptoms. “She couldn’t breathe correctly, she can talk to you without any short of breath, she couldn’t change positions in bed without being short of breath.”
His wife was diagnosed with COVID pneumonia. Doctors had to perform an emergency c-section on her to make sure their unborn child was safe.
Doctor Monali Patil with Mercy Fort Smith says COVID-19, especially the delta variant is scary for younger patients and pregnant women.
“For sure, young mothers are at a very high risk of developing severe complications from Covid,” Patil said.
Emma is one of them. She’s now been in the hospital for nearly a month.
“It’s definitely a roller coaster,” Robison explained. “Somedays she’s good. It’s like one step forward, four steps back."
Robison says it’s been a rollercoaster not only for his wife’s recovery but his mental health as well.
“Waking up every day not realizing [realizing]that your wife could die. It’s a serious thing, and it hurts,” Robison said.
He hasn’t been able to visit his wife because of hospital restrictions. He’s only allowed to make calls and texts.
“Looking at a window and calling every day and making sure your wife isn’t dead, it hurts a lot,” said Robison.
Doctors and nurses are recommending pregnant women get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Any step that should prevent this disease should be taken,” said Doctor Patil.
As Emma Robison continues to fight in the hospital, Mercy Nurse Ashlee Schwartz is looking to help ensure the couple’s daughter has all the necessities. “He said we have clothes. I said well you’re going to need a little more than clothes and we talk a little bit more and I asked him if he would mind if I would take it all myself to just put a registry together.”
Emma Robison is still in the hospital but says they are hoping their story will encourage others to get vaccinated. Eric Robison also mentioned that he will be getting the vaccine soon.
If you would like to donate to the registry, click here.