SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A Pacific Beach woman is hoping to raise money for her best friend, who was on a ventilator battling COVID-19, as doctors delivered her baby girl.
In December, Chelsea Hartman, as she does every year, flew to San Diego from the Orlando area to visit her best friend Shannon Solenzio.
During this trip, Hartman met her bestie's new baby for the first time.
“Sitting out on our patio, at a fire pit, and that’s when she told me that she was ready to try to start trying to have a baby,” said Solenzio.
Not long after, Hartman and her husband were expecting. Hartman, 34, decided to postpone her plans to be vaccinated.
“Kind of uncomfortable and nervous about getting vaccinated with a developing baby in her body,” and Solenzio.
Solenzio sent ABC 10News a photo of a smiling Hartman, six months pregnant, which was taken in late July. A week later, she became sick, testing positive for COVID-19.
“Really, really deep cough, which started leading into trouble breathing,” said Solenzio.
In early August, she was hospitalized with COVID pneumonia in both lungs.
Solenzio says doctors decided the best course of action was to place Hartman on a ventilator and deliver her baby by C-section.
“It was heartbreaking. We all broke down into tears and immediately started praying for them,” said Solenzio. “The doctors wanted to make sure that Chelsea's body was able to heal, and they didn’t feel that her body was able to heal and grow a baby at the same time.”
On August 7, her little girl was born, weighing three pounds, eight ounces, and more than two months premature.
She is COVID negative, in stable condition and improving. As for Hartman, it's a waiting game, but Solenzio is hopeful.
“Her oxygen levels are improving … We’re just waiting for Chelsea to wake up, meet her baby. She’s going to wake up and become a mom,” said Solenzio.
Solenzio started a GoFundMe campaign to help Hartman’s family with expenses.
On Wednesday, the CDC urged all pregnant women to get vaccinated amid surging cases of the Delta variant, calling the vaccine safe and effective.
A CDC analysis of safety data on 2,500 women showed no increased risks of miscarriage for those who received at least one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
According to CDC data, only 23% of pregnant women have had at least one dose of vaccine.