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Keighlie Renee Reaux

A young, unvaccinated mother whose story captured the nation died in a Lafayette hospital over the weekend after a long battle with COVID-19. She never had the opportunity to hold her newborn son.

Keighlie Renee Reaux, 24, died Sunday at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center from complications of the coronavirus, according to her mom's post on an online fundraiser.

"Please keep our family in your prayers as this is one of the hardest days of our life," Amie Reaux wrote. "Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for all the love, support and prayers."

Keighlie Reaux's story gained attention last month after her family spoke with David Begnaud, lead national correspondent for CBS This Morning. Amie Reaux said she hoped to save lives by sharing her daughter's story

Keighlie Reaux was not vaccinated and had no pre-existing conditions before testing positive for the coronavirus, her mother said. 

"We let our guard down," Amie Reaux told Begnaud. "We started venturing out. We booked a family vacation. We thought, like the rest of the world, this isn't that real of a virus."

The 24-year-old and nine other family members tested positive for the virus after a Fourth of July beach trip. None were vaccinated.

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Keighlie Reaux's long, difficult battle with COVID-19 was chronicled by family and friends via regular Facebook posts and updates on a GoFundMe page.

She was 38 weeks pregnant with her second child when she was diagnosed with the coronavirus in late July. Krew was delivered via emergency cesarean section on Aug. 4 and is doing well. Amie Reaux has been caring for Krew and his older brother, Karter.

Soon after Krew's birth, Keighlie Reaux was transferred to a COVID-19 hospital room. A few days later, on Aug. 9, she was placed on a mechanical ventilator. By Aug. 21, both of her lungs had collapsed. Her family described her situation at that time as "touch and go daily, sometimes hourly."

Keighlie Reaux is remembered in her obituary as a loving mother who had a passion for small-town boutiques and dreamed of one day owning a shop of her own.

"To know Keighlie was to love her. She would do anything for anyone, put everyone before herself, would give the shirt off her back, never met a stranger and loved with all of her heart," her obituary said.

"Her beautiful blue eyes and contagious smile will be missed tremendously by all who loved her."

A funeral will be held Thursday. Evangeline Funeral Home of New Iberia is in charge of arrangements.


Email Megan Wyatt at mwyatt@theadvocate.com.