A woman had a normal pregnancy symptom, went to the doctor and died

When Melissa Demiranda She was seven months pregnant and went to see a cardiologist at the suggestion of her obstetrician-gynecologist. In the days before the appointment, Demiranda, 34, woke up breathless. Difficulty breathing is common in the third trimester and Demiranda's doctors weren't too worried, her husband said. Matthew Quinones.

“They just wanted it checked to be sure,” Quiñones told .com. After the exam on April 10, Melissa called her husband to inform him that she would be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. The cardiologist had noticed some fluid in her lungs that warranted further examination. Her blood pressure was also high.

“She told me, 'Don't worry, I feel normal, I feel good,'” recalled Matthew, who got into his car and drove to Overlook Medical Center in Summit, New Jersey, to meet his wife. He remembers feeling relieved that she was monitored.

“I was glad they sent her to the hospital. “We were going to get some answers about why she was having trouble breathing,” Quiñones assured. Shortly after he arrived at the emergency room, he noticed a crowd surrounding an ambulance.

“They took someone off a stretcher and their arm was hanging over the side, and my first thought was, 'That person must be dead,'” the man said. He continued looking for Melissa. Why hadn't her ambulance arrived?

Moments later Matthew was led into a small room with a priest. “Honestly, in my head I was thinking: 'They've got the wrong person,'” Quiñones says. “Then they asked me my wife’s name.”

Matthew Quiñones begins to cry as he remembers the moment he realized it wasn't a mix-up. “My heart just skipped a beat,” he says.

He was then taken to a room where a doctor was performing chest compressions on Demiranda. “I looked at her and could clearly see that she was gone. There were like 40 people in the room and everyone knew it too,” she says. “That was by far the most difficult moment of my life.”

Mia Melissa was born via emergency cesarean section on April 10.

The couple's newborn daughter, Mia Melissa, miraculously survived and remains in the neonatal intensive care unit at Morristown Memorial Hospital. Matthew says Mia, who was born 9 weeks early, is expected to be discharged before her due date of June 8.

“I don't know how I could go on without my little girl,” says the man through tears. Quiñones and Demiranda's family are waiting for the results of the autopsy, which could take up to two months. “None of this makes sense,” he says. “I still can’t believe she’s gone.”

Dr. Comisha Holloman, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Texas Children's Hospital, explains that shortness of breath during pregnancy is usually caused by hormonal and physiological changes. For example, as the uterus continues to grow, it pushes on the diaphragm reducing lung capacity.

“I worry about shortness of breath when it comes on suddenly and if it persists and gets worse,” Holloman, who did not treat Demiranda, tells .com. Other abnormal symptoms include shortness of breath accompanied by chest pain, heart palpitations, and coughing up blood.

In these cases, difficulty breathing may indicate something more serious such as preeclampsia, a high blood pressure disorder that begins after the 20th week of pregnancy. Sudden shortness of breath is also a symptom of pulmonary embolism, which occurs when a blood clot gets stuck in the artery of the lung.

“Pulmonary embolism is rare, but pregnant women are at slightly higher risk for it,” Holloman says.

A rainbow baby

After suffering two devastating miscarriages, the high school couple conceived Mia with the help of In Vitro Fertilization. Demiranda dedicated all her free time to researching baby care.

“She knew what kind of diapers she wanted, she knew the best formula and the safest furniture and all that,” her husband says. “We went for regular walks around Target.”

Recently, when Quiñones was going through Demiranda's memories, he found a box full of notes she had written to her unborn babies. “She literally documented every day that she was pregnant and it broke my heart,” she says. “Melissa was going to be the best mom.”

Quiñones, who has a GoFundMe to help with Mía's medical expenses, says there is a photo of Melissa next to her daughter's crib. Mia also sleeps on sheets that the nurses made from her mother's clothes.

See Melissa in Mia

“Even when Melissa was freezing, one foot would hang out of the blanket, and the same thing happens to Mia: she always has one foot sticking out,” mentions the little girl's father.

Quiñones never stops talking about Demiranda and has discovered that sharing her story is therapeutic. “I'll make sure Mia knows that she meant the world to her mother,” he says. “Mia meant absolutely everything to Melissa.”

If you want to read the note in its original version in English, see .