How One Father Fights for Universal Maternal Health
Charles Johnson was getting ready to have a second child.
His wife, Kira, had already had a regular cesarean delivery with her first kid and was a healthy, active mother of one.
There was no reason to believe anything would go wrong when she arrived at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a facility recognized as a leader in high-quality healthcare, to give birth to her second child.
After an easy pregnancy, Kira endured her second cesarean delivery. However, there were indications that something wasn’t right soon after her surgery.
“Kira went in for the delivery at 2 o’clock in the afternoon,” recalls Johnson. Around 4 o’clock, “I noticed there was blood in Kira’s catheter.”
Family Johnson questioned the medical staff. There were no responses given. Nothing was done. As her family helplessly watched, Kira started to shudder excessively, and the color of her catheter changed from light pink to scarlet.
Nearly 5 hours after her husband first reported her concerns to medical professionals, Kira was diagnosed as a surgical emergency at 6:44 p.m. after undergoing a CT scan, an ultrasound, and a number of other procedures.
Ten hours later, at 12:30 a.m., Kira was admitted for surgery; she underwent the procedure but died. Johnson was left on his own to raise both the newborn and his son.
A single dad overnight
The last thing Johnson anticipated was to suddenly find himself a single father.
“The idea that Kira would not walk out to raise her sons that day when we walked into that hospital, it never crossed my mind,” he adds.
However, that is what took place, and Johnson is not the only one.
Approximately 700 women in the United States pass away from complications connected to pregnancy each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source. A third of those fatalities may have been avoided.
Furthermore, compared to white women, black women are three times more likely to pass away from a pregnancy-related cause.
Johnson first learned about other women’s obstetric abuse experiences after Kira passed away. Then he began his inquiry.
The maternal mortality epidemic that our nation is currently experiencing is terrible, according to Johnson. With everything we have, how is this occurring right here in the United States, and why is no one outraged?