Coronavirus Update New Jersey
PATERSON, New Jersey (WABC) -- On one of the hardest days of their lives, the family of Joanna Jimenez talked about their last joyous gathering - her baby shower.
Baby Ashton was born February 13 - it was an emergency delivery because Jimenez was battling COVID. His mom lost her battle, never having the chance to hold, in her arms, the baby she carried with care for nearly nine months.
Jimenez leaves behind her three boys -- 15-year-old Jordan, 18-month-old Christian, baby Ashton. She also leaves behind her devastated husband, Chad Augustus.
"I'm just trying to stay strong...every day I want to let my emotions out, but I'm trying to stay strong for the kids and the family," said Augustus.
The family has started a GoFundMe page to help her three boys begin their lives, without the mother that family and friends called 'the glue of the gathering.'
"I've had so many experiences and memories with her - she's always been by my side," said best friend Cynthia Sanchez.
"I'm so proud of her for the woman she became after she had kids - she dedicated her life to making sure her kids were good," said her brother, John Jimenez.
The love is still flowing in the family - they all decided to let Jimenez's heartbroken mother, Ashton's grandmother, take the lead in caring for him. They say it eases her sadness in losing her daughter.
"So now we just have to celebrate her life each and every day," said her sister, Jacqueline Diaz.
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