Family of Minnesota mom who gave birth while in hospital with COVID-19 fight for emergency treatment

The family of a Minnesota mom who gave birth while on a ventilator fighting coronavirus is pleading for a transfer to a hospital that could give her emergency live-saving treatment. 

Aurora Chacon Esparza, 35, started displaying coronavirus symptoms in early June and was taken to North Memorial Hospital in Brooklyn Center where she was placed on a ventilator. 

By June 23, doctors were concerned that her baby was not getting enough oxygen and said she needed an emergency C-section despite being only 30 weeks pregnant.  

They delivered a healthy baby girl named Andrea ten weeks prematurely yet Esparza remains on a ventilator 21 days after being admitted. 

Aurora Chacon Esparza, 35, has been on a ventilator fighting coronavirus in a Minnesota hospital for 21 days. While there she gave birth to a baby girl named Andrea (pictured)

Juan Duran (pictured above left with Esparza) said they believed her trip to the hospital would be short as the young mother was healthy when she first started showing symptoms

Juan Duran (pictured above left with Esparza) said they believed her trip to the hospital would be short as the young mother was healthy when she first started showing symptoms

The young mother’s condition is worsening and doctors have recommended that an Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine – that will carry out the function of the heart and lungs outside the body – is the only other option.  

North Memorial Hospital is not an ECMO center, however, and all requests to be transferred to another hospital for treatment have been denied. 

‘She’s one of the strongest persons I’ve ever known. That’s why I have faith she’s going to pull through this. She’s going to make it,’ her husband of seven years, Juan Duran, told Fox 9

Duran first believed his wife’s trip to the hospital would be brief as the young mother, who already had two children, was healthy when she started displaying coronavirus symptoms. 

She went to hospital when she began to cough non-stop and had trouble breathing and was placed on a ventilator on June 19.

‘She is a 35-year-old healthy woman with no pre-existing conditions,’ Duran said. ‘We never thought this could happen to our family.’ 

Four days later, doctors decided to carry out the C-section, concerned for both mother and baby.  

‘That’s when it hit me. I was thinking “okay she’s going to get through this, a few days at the hospital.” But when I received that phone call it just hit me,’ her husband added. 

Baby Andrea was born by emergency C-section 10 weeks prematurely but is healthy

Baby Andrea was born by emergency C-section 10 weeks prematurely but is healthy

Aurora Chacon Esparza, 35, (pictured left) is fighting for her life from coronavirus in a Minnesota hospital. Her family (husband Juan and oldest two children pictured) are pleading for a transfer to another hospital that can offer her potentially life-saving treatment

Aurora Chacon Esparza, 35, (pictured left) is fighting for her life from coronavirus in a Minnesota hospital. Her family (husband Juan and oldest two children pictured) are pleading for a transfer to another hospital that can offer her potentially life-saving treatment

Esparza, who already had a son, 1, and daughter, 7, was just 30 weeks pregnant

Esparza, who already had a son, 1, and daughter, 7, was just 30 weeks pregnant

Duran said that although on a ventilator, his wife can still see and hear and is somewhat alert. 

Baby Andrea is now in the NICU and continues to grow stronger but Esparza has never met her, according to KARE 11

‘She’s four pounds, two ounces now and her heart is doing great,’ Duran said. ‘She can breathe by herself. She eats, she smiles, she cries.’  

Concerns are growing for her mother, however, as the family begs for the treatment that could potentially get her healthy and home to her newborn, 1-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter. 

‘About three days ago, [Aurora] started getting worse and worse,’ Duran said. ‘The ventilator was at a 100 percent and the oxygen just keeps going down, down, down.’ 

North Memorial Hospital has said it is working with other hospitals to try and get Esparza transferred so she can receive the ECMO machine, a form of life support treatment. 

North Medical hospital has said it does not supply the treatment that could save Esparza

North Medical hospital has said it does not supply the treatment that could save Esparza

Her husband Juan Duran has said he will continue to fight for a transfer despite the risks

Her husband Juan Duran has said he will continue to fight for a transfer despite the risks

‘North Memorial Health partners with local and regional healthcare systems to care for patients who would benefit from ECMO, which is a highly specialized service that is typically only offered at ECMO Centers,’ they said in a statement to Fox. 

‘We do not offer ECMO as a long-term or ongoing treatment which would be required to treat COVID-19, but we do use it for short-term emergency care as part of our trauma and cardiovascular surgery programs, when needed. 

‘ECMO Centers have stringent criteria for accepting patient referrals and our medical teams work closely with these partners to ensure that our patients have access to the care they need.’

Yet doctors have warned the family that transfer requests are being denied because Esparza has been on a ventilator for too long. 

Aurora Chacon Esparza has been married to Juan Duran for seven years and they have three children together - newborn Andrea, a one-year-old son and a seven-year-old daughter

Aurora Chacon Esparza has been married to Juan Duran for seven years and they have three children together – newborn Andrea, a one-year-old son and a seven-year-old daughter

Esparza is pictured with her husband Juan

Esparza with her daughter

Esparza’s condition is worsening and doctors have said an ECMO machine – that will carry out the function of the heart and lungs outside the body – is the only other option available. Esparza is pictured with her husband Juan, above left, and daughter, above right

‘Aurora’s doctor told me it was because she’s been on the ventilator for too long,’ Duran said. 

‘I know it’s a small chance but we want to do everything possible. We want to have all of the resources available even if it’s a one percent chance.’ 

‘I know there’s big risks but at this point the ECMO machine is the best option to save her life. I was told she could have hemorrhage, lose a lot of blood because of the C-section.’

Despite those risks, Duran said he will keep pushing for her transfer.

‘She’s fighting and we want to give her every chance and every resource available for her to have a chance to survive and be with her kids,’ he said.

Duran added that he hopes others will realize the dangers of coronavirus once they hear his family’s story. 

‘Just be cautious because you could be healthy just like my wife and still end up in the ICU on the ventilator,’ he warned. 

Donald Trump is pictured openly wearing a mask for the first time as he visits Walter Reed hospital

Trump wears a mask in public for the first time on visit to Walter Reed Medical Center to visit wounded veterans after ‘pressure from aides amid surging COVID-19 cases nationwide’

  • The president visited Walter Reed military hospital on Saturday afternoon
  • Trump was photographed wearing a face mask in a rare gesture
  • Aides ‘pleaded’ with the president to be photographed in a mask, CNN reported 
  • He has usually declined to do so, but on May 21 he wore a face mask in Michigan 

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Donald Trump has donned a face mask to visit recuperating military personnel at the Walter Reed military hospital, in a rare nod to the coronavirus pandemic.

Health experts agree that face masks are useful at stopping the spread of COVID-19. 

The president has repeatedly shrugged off suggestions of wearing a mask, saying that it causes people to touch their face too much and so is not helpful.

Trump told Fox News on Thursday that he would wear a face mask during the trip. 

Donald Trump on Saturday wore a face mask to visit the Walter Reed hospital

Marine One left the South Lawn of the White House at 5:14pm, en route to the Walter Reed hospital in Bethesda, Maryland

Marine One left the South Lawn of the White House at 5:14pm, en route to the Walter Reed hospital in Bethesda, Maryland

The president was seen arriving at the medical facility at 5:24pm. President Trump was not wearing a mask on arrival

The president was seen arriving at the medical facility at 5:24pm. President Trump was not wearing a mask on arrival

‘I’m going to Walter Reed to see some of our great soldiers who have been injured,’ he told Sean Hannity. 

‘Badly injured. And also see some of our Covid workers, people who have such a great job. 

‘And I expect to be wearing a mask when I go into Walter Reed. You’re in a hospital so I think it’s a very appropriate thing.’ 

The Walter Reed website includes guidance that states visitors ‘are expected to wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth upon entering and while moving about the facility… when not able to maintain 6 feet of social distancing.’ 

The president wrapped his visit inside the hospital at about 6:10pm, and Marine Force One flew him back to the White House at 6:25pm. 

Trump’s decision to model a mask in public view and tout it during a Fox News interview Thursday night came after a quiet lobbying campaign by some White House aides and political advisers, aides familiar with the discussions told CNN.

Some of his aides were reportedly concerned by the sight of so many maskless Trump supporters at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month and worried by the surge of coronavirus cases in the South.

All of those present with the president were photographed wearing face masks

All of those present with the president were photographed wearing face masks

Pictured before leaving the White House on Saturday, the president was not wearing a mask

Pictured before leaving the White House on Saturday, the president was not wearing a mask

One presidential adviser described the effort as more than a week of ‘lots of negotiation’ and repeated ‘pleading’ by aides who urged the president to set an example for his supporters by wearing a mask on the visit.

Until this week, Trump had resisted that coaxing, in part because he is tested daily and views it as an unnecessary step and also because he has not wanted to give into media criticism and pressure.

‘I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it,’ Trump said during a May visit to a Ford plant in Michigan, where he refused to wear a mask in view of the press in defiance of Ford rules.

He did don the mask when he thought people were not looking. 

Trump was caught on camera, away from the press, wearing a mask on May 21 in Michigan

Trump was caught on camera, away from the press, wearing a mask on May 21 in Michigan

He showed off the mask to press during the Michigan trip, but did not want photos wearing it

He showed off the mask to press during the Michigan trip, but did not want photos wearing it

Trump’s visit to Walter Reed Saturday will come just hours before he rallies his supporters in New Hampshire – a rally scheduled for Friday evening, but postponed due to poor weather.

Advisers hope his decision to wear a mask will encourage rally attendees to do the same.

The Trump campaign is now ‘strongly encouraging’ attendees to wear masks – a notable difference from Trump’s political events over the past several weeks, where mask-wearing was scarce and few steps were taken to encourage it.  

He has refused requests to make masks mandatory at his events.  

‘It’s fine to wear a mask if it makes you feel comfortable,’ he said.

A Trump political adviser told CNN the president is not in favor of forcing people to wear them.

‘That is the president. He does not want to say it,’ the adviser said.

Labour leader Keir Starmer calls for jobs to be protected as coronavirus crisis batters the economy 

Labour leader Keir Starmer calls for jobs to be protected with a ‘back-to-work budget’ as coronavirus crisis batters the economy

  • Sir Keir Starmer said Labour would not let workers pay for the COVID-19 crisis
  • The Labour leader also described the Government’s pandemic response as slow
  • He was speaking at an online broadcast of the annual Durham Miners’ Gala
  • Sir Keir called for a ‘back-to-work’ budget which focuses on unemployment 

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called once again for a ‘back-to-work’ budget to be brought in by the Government that focuses on employment. 

Speaking at an online version of the Durham Miners Gala, Sir Keir branded the Government’s response to the coronavirus crisis as ‘slow’ and ‘confusing’.

The Labour leader said his party will not allow communities and its workers to pay for the economic costs the virus will bring.

Sir Keir Starmer once again called for the Government to introduce a ‘back-to-work’ budget that focuses on employment

He told a Facebook broadcast of the Gala: ‘Coronavirus has shown the strength in our communities, it’s shown that our economy depends on the essential workers who kept our country going.

‘And let me say this now, and let me say it clearly: Labour will not allow workers in their communities to pay for the cost of this crisis.

‘It is not of your making and many of you, and your families, have been on the front line, in our hospitals, our shops, our care homes, keeping schools open for the children of key workers and in so many other jobs that have been undervalued and underpaid for too long.

‘But we must also draw on the spirit of the Gala to ensure your jobs and industries are protected as we emerge from this crisis. That is why Labour is calling for a back-to-work budget.

‘We’re already paying the economic price of the Government’s slow and confused response to saving jobs. That’s why a back-to-work budget must have one focus: jobs, jobs, jobs.’

The Durham Miners’ Gala normally attracts around 200,000 people but was forced to be held online due to the global pandemic. 

Mr Starmer was speaking at the Durham Miners Gala, which was broadcast online this year

The Durham Miners Gala (pictured in 2019) normally attracts around 200,000 people but was broadcasted online due to the COVID-19 crisis. This year is Sir Keir's first Gala as Labour leader

The Durham Miners Gala (pictured in 2019) normally attracts around 200,000 people but was broadcasted online due to the COVID-19 crisis. This year is Sir Keir’s first Gala as Labour leader

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner (pictured) was also speaking at the Durham Miners Gala event via Facebook Live

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner (pictured) was also speaking at the Durham Miners Gala event via Facebook Live

The annual occasion is Europe’s largest trade union event and has only been cancelled for either world wars or national strikes. 

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner also spoke at the Gala and claimed that the divide between the north and south of England is continuing to grow. 

Ms Rayner said: ‘Together we are strong. And in the months ahead we will need our collective strength as we fight to make sure that the most vulnerable in our society don’t bear the burden of the economic impact of the coronavirus.

‘Our mining communities know about the human cost of mass unemployment. We know how it feels to be abandoned by a Tory government and for an entire generation to be consigned to what the Thatcher government called “managed decline”. We cannot let that happen again.

‘The north-south divide is continuing to grow and we cannot afford for the economic impact of the coronavirus to increase this gap even more.’

Donald Trump is pictured wearing a mask as he visits Walter Reed hospital 

Donald Trump is pictured openly wearing a mask for the first time as he visits Walter Reed hospital

  • The president visited Walter Reed military hospital on Saturday afternoon
  • Trump was photographed wearing a face mask in a rare gesture
  • Aides ‘pleaded’ with the president to be photographed in a mask, CNN reported 
  • He has usually declined to do so, but on May 21 he wore a face mask in Michigan 

Donald Trump has donned a face mask to visit recuperating military personnel at the Walter Reed military hospital, in a rare nod to the coronavirus pandemic.

Health experts agree that face masks are useful at stopping the spread of COVID-19. 

The president has repeatedly shrugged off suggestions of wearing a mask, saying that it causes people to touch their face too much and so is not helpful.

Trump told Fox News on Thursday that he would wear a face mask during the trip. 

Donald Trump on Saturday wore a face mask to visit the Walter Reed hospital

‘I’m going to Walter Reed to see some of our great soldiers who have been injured,’ he told Sean Hannity. 

‘Badly injured. And also see some of our Covid workers, people who have such a great job. 

‘And I expect to be wearing a mask when I go into Walter Reed. You’re in a hospital so I think it’s a very appropriate thing.’ 

Trump’s decision to model a mask in public view and tout it during a Fox News interview Thursday night came after a quiet lobbying campaign by some White House aides and political advisers, aides familiar with the discussions told CNN.

Some of his aides were reportedly concerned by the sight of so many maskless Trump supporters at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month and worried by the surge of coronavirus cases in the South.

All of those present with the president were photographed wearing face masks

All of those present with the president were photographed wearing face masks

Pictured before leaving the White House on Saturday, the president was not wearing a mask

Pictured before leaving the White House on Saturday, the president was not wearing a mask

One presidential adviser described the effort as more than a week of ‘lots of negotiation’ and repeated ‘pleading’ by aides who urged the president to set an example for his supporters by wearing a mask on the visit.

Until this week, Trump had resisted that coaxing, in part because he is tested daily and views it as an unnecessary step and also because he has not wanted to give into media criticism and pressure.

‘I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it,’ Trump said during a May visit to a Ford plant in Michigan, where he refused to wear a mask in view of the press in defiance of Ford rules.

He did don the mask when he thought people were not looking. 

Coronavirus cost to economy unveiled in new figures

Raft of key figures set to be released highlighting economic turmoil wrought by coronavirus crisis

A raft of key figures will be released this week highlighting the economic turmoil wrought by the coronavirus crisis. 

Employment figures due on Thursday will reveal how many more people lost their jobs in June over the 622,000 during the previous three months. 

Gross domestic product figures come out on Tuesday and are expected to show only a modest rebound in May after April’s 20.4 per cent collapse. 

Turmoil: Coronavirus has negatively impacted everyone’s day-to-day life both at home and at work

George Buckley, chief UK economist at Nomura, said the figure for the number of paid employees is the best guide to the health of the labour market. The benefits claimant count rose by 1.5million to 2.8million during March, April and May, but this includes unemployed and those whose incomes are topped up by Universal Credit. 

‘It would seem job losses peaked in April,’ said Buckley. ‘But this could lead to a false sense of security. Once the furlough scheme is wound down, firms will have to make tough decisions. 

‘There is a grave risk that, when Government support is withdrawn, a substantial number will look at parts of their workforce and say, ‘We need to get rid of these people.’ This will start to bite in August.’ 

Dhaval Joshi, chief European strategist with BCA Research, said: ‘A lot of firms have been waiting to see if the disruption to their business is temporary, in which case they can live through it, or structural, in which case they cannot and the current employment level is not viable.’