LANCASTER, S.C. — A South Carolina woman continues to fight for her life after getting COVID-19 while pregnant. On Wednesday, her husband spoke out to urge expecting parents to get vaccinated.
Cierra and Jamal Chubb are happily married with three young children in Lancaster County.
“Cierra is my best friend," Chubb told reporters on a Zoom call Wednesday. "She's a phenomenal human being."
They were expecting their third child when she contracted COVID-19.
“We tested positive on [July] 21st, we took her to the hospital on the 24th and she was admitted for COVID-pneumonia,” explained Chubb.
Cierra gave birth to Miles, a healthy baby boy, but is now on a ventilator.
“At one point I was sitting at her bedside holding our son Miles and watching Cierra’s condition deteriorate. Watching her struggle to breathe with my own eyes while holding the future of our family,” Chubb recalled emotionally.
He said his wife chose to not get vaccinated due to unknown risks for her pregnancy.
"We kept waiting for instruction about pregnant women to be clear but there hadn’t been any clear instruction about it, so we waited," said Chubb.
Now with new data showing vaccines are safe for pregnant women, he’s urging others to get the shot so they don’t experience what his family is going through.
“I’m sleeping in my daughter’s room in her twin bed every night because she’s crying and missing her mom and I don’t want this for anyone," Chubb said. "I can’t stress that enough. I don’t want this for anyone, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Please be informed. Please do what you need to do to protect your health, the health of your children, the health of your family,” he pleaded.
Dr. Helmut Albrecht, one of the many doctors at Prisma Health working to keep Cierra alive, was also on the media call.
“She’s a healthy, young woman and she should’ve had a much easier pregnancy than this," said Albrecht.
He said Prisma Health is seeing many unvaccinated, younger patients severely sick with COVID-19. He said Cierra came extremely close to dying and called her slow recovery a "miracle."
“Women with COVID during pregnancy have a 15-fold higher risk to die,” the doctor explained.
Albrecht said the vaccine is strongly recommended for pregnant women and is safe to get. He added that studies show there are no increased risks for mom or the baby with the vaccine, but COVID-19 poses a huge risk.
“There are no fertility issues in women with the vaccine, [but] there are fertility issues and death issues with COVID,” said Albrecht.
Jamal and Cierra Chubb can’t turn back time but hope their story will inspire others to get the shot.
The family shared today that they're feeling optimistic about Cierra's recovery. Chubb said they have a long journey ahead but are starting to see signs of improvement.