Coronavirus: South Carolina mother dies shortly after delivering 10th child

LEXINGTON, S.C. — A South Carolina woman died from COVID-19 earlier this month, days after delivering her 10th child.

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Ashley Bennett, 36, of Lexington, died Jan. 8, WIS-TV reported. Her death came seven days after she gave birth to her youngest child, Eliza, after emergency surgery, the television station reported. Her children range in age from infant Eliza to an 18-year-old daughter.

Bennett, a stay-at-home mother, was taking classes to become a funeral director, People reported. She was about 34 weeks pregnant when she, her husband, Darryl Bennett, and their nine children tested positive for COVID-19 in late December, according to WIS.

“It automatically went to bronchitis with Darryl and Ashley, and Ashley’s just progressed drastically,” Ashley Bennett’s sister, Courtney Bucknam, told the television station.

Bucknam said Bennett didn’t have any pre-existing conditions, but when her health began to decline, her doctors did an emergency cesarean section on Jan. 1, according to WIS. She gave birth to Eliza, but never had the chance to hold the infant.

“The pneumonia hit her and it just came with a vengeance,” Bucknam told WIS. “It was awful.”

Bennett also suffered a blood clot that led to a stroke, according to People.

“I think in the back of her head she was worried something was going to happen, and so she just wanted to make sure we looked after the kids and that we made sure they knew how much she loved them,” Bucknam told WIS.

Bucknam said that her sister loved being a mother.

“She truly was put on this earth to be a mother,” Bucknam told the television station. “She was an amazing person. If we can learn anything from this, it’s that COVID is so serious, and we need to truly take precautions because she was only 36. She had no underlying conditions, and she was gone basically within 10 days.”

A GoFundMe page was started for the Bennett family by friends to defray medical and funeral costs. As of Saturday afternoon, more than $13,300 had been raised.

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