JOSHUA, Texas - A career educator in the Joshua Independent School District in Johnson County died of COVID-19 only two weeks after giving birth to her daughter.
The news saddened those who knew 32-year-old Paige Ruiz, the former assistant principal at Nichols Middle School.
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She recently moved into a new administrative job at the district office.
"Paige was the life of the party. She had the biggest smile, the biggest personality, always had a joke going on, a heart of gold. She was always a role model since she was a little girl, said Robin Zinsou, her mother. "She loved teaching. She loved being a mom."
Ruiz had a 2-year-old daughter and got sick before her due date.
Ruiz stayed in the intensive care unit after delivering her daughter by C-section and never got to hold the baby before she died Sunday.
"It was difficult to see her knowing she didn’t get to hold her baby but we did video chats and she got to see her that way. And we did it that way and we let Paige be a mom to Celeste in a different way and that’s how we coped," Zinsou said tearfully.
Ruiz did not get the vaccine because she was pregnant. She planned to get it after the birth.
Her mom said a few days before her death she sent a text wishing she had taken the vaccine. She also texted all of her friends and family members encouraging them to get the shot.
The Centers for Disease Control announced vaccines are safe for pregnant women four days before Ruiz died.
"Wear your mask and get vaccinated. If you can’t wear your mask because you think you’re… just wear your mask. Protect the others. Protect yourself. This pandemic has caused so much hurt and done so much damage to so many people," Zinsou pleaded.