26-Year-Old Dies Giving Birth During Peak of COVID-19 — Family Says It Was 'Preventable'
Amber Rose Isaac, 26, died last month while giving birth to her first child, son Elias — and her family says it was "100 percent preventable."
According to her partner, Bruce McIntyre III, Isaac had noticed that her platelet levels had been decreasing since February, but she was unable to see a doctor in person because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, despite being in her third trimester ABC News reported. Instead, most of her appointments were over Zoom.
McIntyre told The Guardian that when Issac — who was black and Puerto Rican — first tried calling her doctors at the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx to tell them about her low platelet levels, they ignored her.
"All of this was 100 percent preventable. All of it,” McIntyre said. “I feel like she would have got more attentive care if she was a white mother, to be completely honest with you.”
In late April she was admitted to the hospital, where doctors realized that she had developed HELLP syndrome, a pregnancy-related complication that can be fatal if left untreated, according to Healthline.
Just a few days earlier, Isaac tweeted about how she couldn't "wait to write a tell all about my experience during my last two trimesters dealing with incompetent doctors at Montefiore."
Once at the hospital, doctors induced labor more than a month ahead of her due date, and Isaac was rushed into an emergency C-section.
Neither McIntyre or Isaac's mother were allowed to join her in the hospital due to the pandemic. She then died alone after having given birth to her newborn son.
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“Unfortunately, what I see when I look at Amber Rose’s case is a beautiful young woman who fell through our big, gaping hole of a healthcare system,” Dr. Joia Crear-Perry, founder and president of the National Birth Equity Collaborative told The Guardian.
“We know she did all that she was supposed to do, right?” Crear-Perry added. “And she’s not the only one. That’s the story of the black maternal mortality issue across the United States.”
In New York City alone, black women are eight times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related complication than white women, according to a study conducted by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The Montefiore Medical Center did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment, but told ABC that their "hearts go out to Ms. Isaac's family."
"Ninety-four percent of our deliveries are minority mothers, and Montefiore's maternal mortality rate of 0.01 percent is lower than both New York City and national averages," a spokesperson said in a statement. "Any maternal death is a tragedy. Our hearts go out to Ms. Isaac's family, especially to her mother, our longtime colleague."
Isaac's mother has worked at the hospital for 25 years.
A GoFundMe page has been set up in Isaac's honor to cover the costs of her funeral service and to help McIntyre with raising his newborn son.
“It’s very hard being in this home and imagining her here with us,” McIntyre told The Guardian. “She never got to even meet him. She never got to see him. And she was just so thrilled about having him.”
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