What’s killing America’s new mothers?


Elizabeth “Liz” Logelin was a young, fit woman with a promising career in operations management at Disney. On March 24, 2008, after a complicated pregnancy that saw her bedridden for nearly two months (three weeks of which were in the hospital), she delivered her daughter Madeline (“Maddy”) through an emergency cesarean section. Two and a half months early, Maddy was healthy, if tiny. Twenty seven hours after the delivery, Liz was finally cleared to hold her firstborn. Her husband Matt Logelin already was, he teased her, several diaper changes ahead of her. She got up from the bed, ready to make her way to the nursery, and stopped in front of the mirror. “My hair looks like shit,” she said, of her long tresses. She laughed, Matt laughed, the nurses laughed. He thought her hair looked great.

She walked towards the wheelchair that was going to take her to the nursery, and suddenly didn’t feel well. “I feel lightheaded,” she complained. Moments later, at age 30, Liz was dead.

The cause was a pulmonary embolism—a blood clot that travelled from her leg to her lungs, and killed her instantaneously.

Though she had a family history of blood clots, suggesting a genetic predisposition, and her risk was increased by the prolonged bed rest and the subsequent c-section surgery, to Matt’s knowledge Liz wasn’t given anticoagulant medications, or advised to exercise to help stimulate her blood flow. Everyone’s attention, hers included, was turned elsewhere, to baby Maddy—so precious, so perfect.

Read more at Quartz.