FORT SMITH, Ark. — After fighting for nearly a month inside Mercy Hospital Fort Smith, new mom Emily Robison lost her life to COVID-19 while giving life to a baby girl named Carmen. Carmen was born nearly three months before her expected due date through an emergency c-section.
"It's like life being stripped out of your body," said Eric Robison, new father and husband to Emily.
5NEWS spoke with Eric on September 14, days later. He said his wife's health started to improve.
"Emily was doing good, and she had a pretty good week," Eric said. "That week, the last time we spoke."
Her health started to decline again, and things went from bad to worse. Doctors put on Emily life support, and her lungs collapsed.
"Her heart stopped at 11 a.m., and they tried to get it back three times without the fourth time in bags outcast at 11:46," Eric said.
Emily passed away Monday, September 20, while inside a Mercy ICU. She and Eric were unvaccinated.
"If we would've known, we would've taken way more precautions," Eric said. "Emily still probably would've been here."
Eric said his final "I love yous" to his wife of four years inside an ICU.
He says he's sharing his story to help others, hopefully.
"Take this very, very seriously," Eric said. "Like, vaccinated, unvaccinated, please take it seriously. It's deadly, very. My wife would still be here if we took it seriously."
Although Eric might be hurting, he says he puts on a brave face for his daughter Carmen.
"It's like closing your eyes and taking a step forward no matter what," he said. "That's what it feels like because I can't think about going forward. I just take it no matter what for Carmen."
Carmen is currently in the hospital building up her strength. Her father visits often, and in November, she is expected to go home.
Mercy nurse Ashlee Schwartz has been helping the family since before Carmen's birth. She is continuing to provide the family with support and gifts.
"I just wanted Carmen to have a piece of her mom," said Schwartz describing a gift she made for the family.
Schwartz has created a registry and GoFundMe to help the family pay for essentials, such as food, clothes and diapers.
"I just want Eric to not have to worry about a thing for the next couple of months," Schwartz said. "I want him to be able to enjoy all these newborn milestones he can share with Carmen."