Jacksonville mother hospitalized for COVID dies days after giving birth

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Just days after giving birth to her baby, a 35-year-old Jacksonville mother died after a battle with COVID-19.

Myra Bantigue-Obolsky’s family is heartbroken. Adding to their pain, her father also died from the virus two weeks later.

The family says Myrabella, her miracle child who was born prematurely, is the glue keeping them together during a difficult time.

“I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone,” said Bantigue-Obolsky’s cousin, Leah Bantigue. “It’s like a nightmare, you know? There’s no way out.”

Bantigue-Obolsky tested positive for COVID when she was 31 weeks pregnant.

Her health quickly deteriorated. She was admitted to a hospital where doctors performed an emergency C-section to save her baby.


As Myrabella was in the newborn intensive care unit, her mother was in a medically-induced coma and on a ventilator.

“The only thing I could do is pretty much pray,” Bantigue said. “But unfortunately, that wasn’t enough.”

Bantigue-Obolsky died 12 days after being admitted to the hospital.

Her family -- now holding Myrabella extra close.

“She’s our light,” said Wayne Obolsky, Bantigue-Obolsky’s husband. “She’s everyone’s light. She’s helping all of us, helping all of us through this.”

The family said neither Bantigue-Obolsky nor her father were vaccinated. It’s something her cousin, Myra, is asking others to get done.

“We just want them to know this is real,” Wayne Obolsky said. “And it could happen to anybody.”

A GoFundMe account was created to help the family with funeral costs.

About the Author:

Renee Beninate is a Florida native and award-winning reporter who joined the News4Jax team in June 2021.