"Our family will forever feel incomplete without her and her children. It’s tragic. If only we had been given information about possible pregnancy complications or she had been given prenatal vitamins with thiamin in the hospital daily, we may not have lost the three of them." -Jessica
"Maria’s death was a preventable tragedy that should never happen again." - Jessica, Maria's sister
Maria and her husband had a whirlwind romance, and soon she was moving to the US from her native Venezuela to get married. When they learned Maria was pregnant with twins, the couple and their families were thrilled.
But Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) changed the love story of their family into a devastating tragedy.
HG is a debilitating and potentially life-threatening pregnancy disease that may cause weight loss, malnutrition, and dehydration due to severe nausea and/or vomiting with potentially adverse consequences for the mother and her newborn(s).
HG symptoms hit early and hard for Maria, and she was soon hospitalized with dehydration, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, malnutrition, and signs of thiamin (vitamin B1) deficiency (TD). Her family fought for her care as they watched the vibrant, 34 year old fade away.
At 14 weeks pregnant, after five weeks in the hospital, Maria’s heart failed and she died.
In the 21st Century, in a respected university hospital, she died of profound malnutrition complicated by Wernicke’s encephalopathy (swelling of her brain due to vitamin B1 deficiency), Osmotic Demyelination Syndrome (ODS due to rapid or overcorrection of sodium)), and sepsis. Maria and her twins died of preventable complications of HG.
1 MOM is 2 Many works to eradicate preventable maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. Maria and her twins deserved better. All mothers and babies deserve a chance at a healthy future.
Maria's Family Remembers
Maria's niece drew this picture of her pregnant with the twins.
Jessica tells Maria's story.
Maria's Community Remembers
"I never met Maria in real life, yet her life, suffering, and death have profoundly affected my life for more than 14 years. She deserved better. All HGers deserve better. Her death was one too many." - Cindy
"I remember when Maria's husband posted and the shock of a young mom who was pregnant dying at the hands of the medical establishment who had not understood her disease."
"So many of us were traumatised reading the posts, the desperation of the situation, feeling utterly helpless. It was just awful and I have never forgotten. And I never will. RIP Maria."
"I remember being terrified for all of my HG Sisters. I was worried that I might be carrying a girl and what would *her* care be like if she also suffered from HG? What if her HG was worse than mine? Would I lose my daughter to this illness? Will my friends lose their daughters?"
"I wasn't part of HER when Maria died. But when I joined with my journey, her death was still felt in the forums. I would have been lost without the people in those forums. I help HER now to make sure there are no more Maria's. Because 1 MOM is 2 Many." - Eliana
Kimber honors Maria's memory.
Cindy shares the impact of Maria's death.
Suzanne looks back on Maria's death.