Nurse Who Gave Birth After Testing Positive for COVID-19 Fights for Life After Cardiac Arrest

While coronavirus can cause symptoms such as fevers, coughing and difficulty breathing, recent data is showing the virus can lead to heart-related problems such as cardiovascular damage, according to Harvard Medical School.

People with underlying medical conditions, including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, liver disease and chronic kidney disease, are at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People ages 65 and older are most at risk of developing life-threatening symptoms.

As of Friday, LeRoy had twice tested negative for COVID-19, according to the GoFundMe.

LeRoy prematurely delivered her daughter, Esther, at 30 weeks gestation. In an interview with the Post, her husband Jeffry said he believes she contracted coronavirus while on the job.

“She did nothing except go to work and then come home to her family,” he said. “She must have picked up the virus from one of her patients.”

Now Jeffry is working to care and comfort the couple's 3-year-old son, Jeremiah, during this challenging time.

“Jeffry is trying so hard to step into the shoes of this caring mom. Their son, Jeremiah, cries for his mommy every night,” LeRoy’s sister, Shirley Licin, told the Post. “He is so used to her being there for him — a wonderful hands-on mom who would take him out to the park and read him his favorite stories."

According to the donation page, LeRoy will now need significant long-term acute cognitive and physical therapy. The GoFundMe has since raised more than $99,000 toward its $200,000 goal.

“She is a lovely woman with a warm, open heart. She would do anything she could for her family and her patients,” Licin told the Post. “Someone who has cared for all these people over the years now needs someone to care for her in return.”

“The next six months are critical for Sylvia,” added Jeffry of the brain injuries his wife suffered. “She needs and deserves the best care possible because she was 100 percent devoted to her job.”

As of Friday, there have been over 1 million cases and 64,184 deaths attributed to coronavirus in the United States, according to a New York Times database. New York state has seen at least 313,565 cases and 23,841 deaths so far.

While research into coronavirus' effects on pregnancy is still in its early stages, a recent report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that fetuses can experience "fetal distress" or stillbirth after a mother has become infected with the virus in the second or third trimesters.

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 CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a 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.

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