Twenty-two-year-old Emily Robison battled COVID-19 for more than a month at Mercy Fort Smith in Fort Smith, Arkansas, before she died on Sept. 20.
Emily gave birth to her daughter, Carmen, during an emergency C-section almost two months early.
Emily's husband, Eric, is now a single father at just 23 years old.
"Ever since she's passed, it's just been a constant flow of anger and sadness and just not understanding. I'd seen movies of this happening and feared it for the longest time and now it still doesn't seem real," he said.
Shortly after Emily gave birth, her ICU nurse, Ashlee Schwartz started a baby registry for the Robison family that quickly took off in the community and filled her garage and guest bedroom with all the essentials for baby Carmen.
"I never in a million years thought this registry would take off like it did, but literally the community has gifted, Eric and Carmen and Emily with all the needed essentials. It was really so bare that I just began to start adding toys so that we can try to bless Eric with Christmas and maybe first birthday. Thank you to everyone who's donated to this family," Schwartz said.
"I would just hope that, if I were in Eric’s shoes, that someone would do the same thing for me. I just felt called," she said.
Eric said he is grateful for all of the support.
"Words can't even describe how grateful I truly am for all the support and help from the community," he said.
As Eric gets ready to bring Carmen home from the hospital, he is asking the community to take COVID-19 seriously and to get vaccinated, since he and Emily were not vaccinated when they both got COVID-19.
"Either get vaccinated as fast as possible or take it as serious as it is because it's super deadly. If my wife and I were to take it seriously, then she would still be here," Eric said.