Be a Voice for Maria! Join the global maternal health community in honoring Maria and her twins on Friday, November 25, 2022, the seventeenth anniversary of their deaths.
No mother should be silenced by HG, but Maria’s voice was silenced due to preventable complications. We all must be a voice for her.
Share a selfie with your right index finger in the air to indicate 1 MOM is 2 Many to die (or use this graphic).
Copy/paste one of these captions:
- I’m raising my voice to honor Maria.
- #1MOMis2Many to die.
- #Iam1MOM who will speak for Maria.
- #Iam1MOM who was not believed.
- #IamMariasVoice because....
- Maria’s voice was silenced due to preventable complications of HG, so we all must be a voice for her.
Be sure to tag @1MOMis2Many and HER Foundation (@HGmoms). Use these campaign hashtags: #MariasVoice #Isupport1MOM #Iam1Mom #1MOMis2Many #HGaware
Trigger warning! The rest of this blog is written by Jessica and describes the day Maria died. The writing is graphic, tragic, and upsetting. But Maria and her babies deserve for their story to be heard.
On November 25, 2005, we were trying our best to lighten the mood and celebrate my daughter’s 5th birthday. Maria’s family was there as we cut the cake and opened gifts. Soon after, my brother called from the hospital with a panic in his voice that I will never forget. He said, “Something’s wrong.” (Actually, EVERYTHING was wrong, and it had been wrong for many weeks.) I don’t specifically recall getting in the car or driving to the hospital, but with my dad in tow, I flew down the highway, parked illegally, and raced through the hospital halls, and took the elevator to Maria’s floor.
As soon as the elevator doors opened, I knew it was bad. An alarm was sounding and nearly every medical staff member on the floor was gathered around her room. I pushed my way through to the front, assuring the staff that I was a family member. I was stopped at the doorway by two somber looking men in white coats, and I watched from the door as doctors performed CPR and even used the defibrillator on Maria. Her body jolted, and I noticed the puddle of blood pooling as she lost her babies. Her time of death was called, and our family was hastily escorted to a private room.
Somehow other family members began appearing. I don’t remember who called them, but I recall quite distinctly the sobs of my brother. We sat in that waiting room for minutes that seemed like hours until my brother was invited to see Maria one last time. He didn’t want to go, so I gently prodded him, and we went together. Walking into that room was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Maria had been hastily cleaned and was lying under a white sheet. She was ghastly pale, and her beautiful raven hair was a tangled mess. As I stood by her bedside trying unsuccessfully to stifle my tears, I tried not to look at the blood stained towels littering the floor below. I said a quick prayer in my head and then stepped back to give my brother a private moment.
The next few days remain blurred in my mind as we methodically went through the motions of making “final arrangements.” The services were beautiful in the saddest possible way, and the memories are like photos in my mind; a few brief snapshots of tearful family members, peaceful music, and flowers – so many flowers. In the years since we lost her, I have tried unsuccessfully to make sense of what happened. It always comes down to this: Maria came to America as a beautiful young woman in love, eager to start her new life in a new country. She left six years later in a casket. Her death certificate lists her cause of death as “profound malnutrition.”