Meet the Maynard Family

2021: Omari's Maternal Mortality Story


How does a dad tell his children that their mom isn't coming home? When Omari’s partner, Shamony, passed away in 2019 after giving birth, that was the question he was faced with.

Since they had a healthy baby girl, Anari, in 2017, it never occurred to them that their second pregnancy would be any different. And at first it wasn’t— Shamony’s pregnancy was smooth and there were no complications. Their son Kari was delivered via C-section. Then two weeks later, she passed away from a pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot in the lungs.

In the days before Shamony passed, she was complaining about pain and shortness of breath. “It was kind of hard for her to get up and down the steps,” Omari says. “We called the hospital several times, trying to get in contact with them to make sure that we understood what was happening and find out if we could maybe get some professional guidance. Unfortunately, the main answers that they gave us were, ‘She's probably doing too much. Just have her rest. Have her sit up’—as opposed to us going into the hospital and getting the proper care she needed.”

“This continues to have just a huge impact on my life—the way I see things, the way I feel things, the way I experience life is totally different than what it was two years ago,” Omari says. “It's hard just taking care of children on a day-to-day basis in general, you know? But having to go through these things and go through experiences with my children, the good and the bad, and not have the opportunity to share those experiences and have those conversations with your partner is something that sticks with me and it will continue to stick with me for the rest of my life.” 

“The biggest advice that I can give to families is one, you're not alone,” Omari says. “So when you experience those hard times and feel like you can't get through it, just understand that there are other people also going through it. And with that said, it's a family at this point. Unfortunately, there are things that bring together that are tragic, but there’s love and opportunity in those tragedies.”

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