26-year-old Amber Isaac tweeted on April 17th that she was going to write an exposé on “dealing with incompetent doctors” in the Bronx while pregnant with her first child.
Less than four days later, she was pronounced dead after an emergency c-section went wrong. The healthy first-time mom died alone without her partner in the Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx riddled with coronavirus patients.
The unspoken fate of Amber is one that happens repeatedly amongst black women but never seen in major headlines. Amber became another name added to the long list of Black women who have lost their lives while giving life.
According to The City, Isaac became concerned that she may not survive the birth of her son as her due date approached. “She had mentioned to me that she feels like she’s not gonna make it,” her partner, Bruce McIntyre mentioned during the interview. “And I would try my best to cheer her up. She would tell her mom she’s really glad the baby is healthy, but she’s scared that she’s not gonna make it.”
On April 17, she tweeted about her grievances with the hospital. It was just days before her labor was induced. “Can’t wait to write a tell-all about my experience during my last two trimesters dealing with incompetent doctors at Montefiore,” Isaacs said.
Isaac got updated bloodwork because she decided she wanted to hire a doula or midwife for an at-home delivery during the pandemic, partially because she felt so neglected by the system, McIntyre said. But she was labeled too high-risk and needed a surgeon after she discovered her platelet counts were still falling.
Isaac tried to raise the alarm and figure out what was happening, but her medical team at first ignored her calls. When she finally had blood work done and was later admitted to the hospital, she entered scared and alone – neither her mother nor McIntyre was initially allowed to join her.
Shortly after midnight on April 21, McIntyre says he heard medical staff clamoring near her room. Isaac’s heart stopped as they removed her son Elias. Reports that the young mom’s platelet levels had been dropping since February, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, she had been having video meetings with her doctor instead of meeting with them in person. It’s something that frustrated the expectant mom, who pressed the doctors at Montefiore Hospital to see her. They finally granted her request in April.
On the day of Isaac’s delivery, doctors realized that she had HELLP syndrome, a pregnancy-related condition that only proves fatal for “a small number of women. The discovery proved to be too short-sighted. She died on April 21, after being induced more than a month early, then rushed into an emergency C-section. The surgeon she had been assigned wasn’t present. During the horrific ordeal, baby Elias survived.
McIntyre launched a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses and financial aid for their newborn son. He also hopes to raise awareness around maternal mortality in the African-American community. In a Facebook post, McIntyre writes, “Her legacy will continue as she changes the course of history. Amber Rose Isaac has left her mark on this planet. We must stand for our people, we cannot let them continue to change the course of our lives, we must gain control.”
“It’s very hard being in this home and imagining her here with us,” McIntyre said. “She never got to even meet him. She never got to see him. And she was just so thrilled about having him.”