A beloved doctor has died just two days after giving birth to her first child.
Dr Chaniece Wallace, a chief resident at Indiana University School of Medicine Pediatric Hospitalist with Indiana University Health Physicians in the US, died on October 22, her husband Anthony Wallace said in a GoFundMe created for the devastated family.
She was due to give birth to her daughter in Indianapolis on November 20, but the couple were told a month earlier that she was showing signs of preeclampsia.
The serious high blood pressure pregnancy complication can cause severe damage to other organs, most often the liver and kidneys, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The most effective treatment is to deliver the baby.
Dr Wallace was forced to undergo emergency surgery and C-section after her liver ruptured and she began experiencing high blood pressure and issues with her kidneys, according to Mr Wallace.
“Chaniece fought with every piece of strength, courage, and faith she had available,” he said.
The couple’s daughter, Charlotte Azaela Wallace, is in the hospital’s NICU but is doing “exceptionally well”, the father said.
The grieving husband said that, although devastated, he has found some solace in knowing that “Chaniece is watching from heaven”.
“Chaniece was such a warm soul, welcoming to almost everybody. Not only loved by family and friends but individuals she would encounter in the patient population,” he said.
“She had a special way of being empathetic with her patients and making each one of them feel special.”
The new mum had just completed her board exams and was interviewing for multiple jobs around the country when she died, Mr Wallace said.
The doctor’s tragic passing has highlighted an important issue when it comes to medical care for black women in the US.
Dr Lauren Dungy-Poythress told local publication Fox59 the maternal mortality rate is three to four times higher for black women than white women.
“There are unfortunately concerns and evidence and research that would suggest and people’s personal experience would also confirm that there can be racial biases, there can be implicit bias, there can be institutional racism,” Dr Dungy-Poythress said.
More than half of the pregnant black women in Marion County, where Indianapolis is located, did not receive medical care in their first trimester.
“We know that early access, or access to prenatal care can improve outcomes. If we can’t see you, can’t recognise some of the concerns, we can’t address and treat them later,” Dr Dungy-Poythress told Fox59.
“Why is that? Is that because I don’t have the transportation, is that because when I do come to institutions I feel marginalised and I’m treated differently and so therefore I don’t want to come and feel that way or be treated that way?”
The doctor added that these issues needed to be improved so more women could get the care they need.
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