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Maryland mother dies of COVID-19 weeks after giving birth to son she never met

Wogene Debele's family said they've seen an outpouring of support from their community, who has raised more than $140,000 for the family.

TAKOMA PARK, Md. — A Maryland mother of four contracted coronavirus as she was nearing the end of her pregnancy. Now, her new baby boy has lost his mother, as she died just three weeks after giving birth to him. 

"This one is hard," Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart said. 

Wogene Debele and her family were well known in the tight-knit community. Debele and her 17-year-old daughter served on the Takoma Park Youth Council, and her 10-year-old son played for the Takoma Park Soccer League 

Her baby, named Levi, was born healthy.  Mayor Stewart’s daughter attended Blair High School with Debele's 17-year old daughter. 

Stewart spoke to her daughter, who thanked everyone for their support. 

“We will get through this health crisis -- it will come to an end," Stewart said. "Right now, there's a lot of uncertainty. And we need to also look at what happens when we get through this. We need to remember all the support and love we're giving now. Because this family is going to need us in the future. They're going to need our support and our assistance, like so many families in our community.”

In just a few days, a GoFundme Page set up by family friends has raised more than $140,000. 

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