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Dying To Deliver: The Race To Prevent Sudden Death Of New Mothers

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(ABC NEWS)- Four-month-old Muhsin just started laughing – and it’s brought some joy to his father for the first time in a long time.

Mustafa Shabazz is proud of the nursery he and his partner Tahmesha Dickey designed for their son, but it’s now reminders of what could have been.

“The name on the wall, the crib, everything,” Shabazz said. “Muhsin is going to miss out on having a great mother, that’s what hurts so bad about this situation.”

Dickey, 38, died giving birth to baby Muhsin.

 

“If I wanted to describe her to someone, I’d describe her as all woman,” Shabazz said. “She was very generous , motivated, dedicated to her family, her work ethic was amazing… she was just a caring loving person.”

Her pregnancy had been going well, Shabazz said. She was not high risk and had been regularly going to her prenatal visits.

“I was excited… because this is what I always wanted, I always wanted a family,” he said.
But during labor, Dickey began having trouble breathing. Within minutes, she went into cardiac arrest and doctors performed an emergency c-section to try to save her and the baby.

“[I thought] this can’t be happening, it seemed like a dream,” Shabazz said. “They asked me to step out. I stepped outside of the room and I could just hear him saying … we’re trying to bring her back, trying to grab a pulse.”

Doctors delivered the baby, but for Dickey, it was too late.

 

Dickey died of an amniotic fluid embolism – an often fatal complication in which amniotic fluid enters the women’s blood stream. It occurs in 1 out of 10,000 pregnancies and doctors are unsure why it happens or how to prevent it.



Daniella Hankey

Good Morning West Virginia! Daniella Hankey is the Morning and Noon newscast Anchor. Daniella joined Newswatch as a Multi-Media journalist and quickly moved her way up to an Anchor. Before landing in the beautiful Mountain State, Daniella called her home Orlando, Florida. Armed with a major in Communications and Media Studies and a minor in Education, Daniella relocated to further her career. During her time at Stetson, she covered several big stories on and off campus including the June 2016 Pulse Night Club shooting and Hurricane Matthew. She worked as a news anchor and reporter for her college news station and enjoyed an internship in productions at PBS. Her love for journalism started in high school when she was selected as a Bright House Varsity Reporter as well as the school anchor. When Daniella is not working, you can find her exploring West Virginia especially the Greenbrier and engaging with community members. As a morning anchor, Daniella loves putting a smile on viewers faces in the morning and informing them of community events. If you have any story ideas or news tips, please email Daniella at dhankey@woay.com. You can also follow Daniella on Facebook at DaniellaHankeyTV.


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