LIVINGSTON, Texas (WJW) — A mom of 10 died just 11 days after giving birth to her first girl, according to family and friends.
Sonya Harlow of Livingston, Texas, and her husband of eight years, Spencer Harlow — with whom she shared 10 children, some from their previous marriages — welcomed baby Eliyanah on Nov. 5.
“She is God’s answer to our prayers. Eliyanah means ‘God has answered,’” Spencer told The Bluebonnet News.
Sonya, 39, had reportedly experienced complications during her pregnancy and was not able to work due to high blood pressure and other issues.
After mom and baby returned home from the hospital, all was seemingly well. But Monday morning, around 2 a.m., Spencer told the Bluebonnet News he woke up to find his wife in distress.
“I rolled over and could see she was dying. We did CPR on her until the paramedics arrived, but she had flatlined by then. It was too late,” he told the Bluebonnet News.
Although the results of an autopsy are not yet known, Spencer said he suspects she may have died from a “post-partum-related medical emergency.”
Sonya’s friend Nancy Leger Davie set up a GoFundMe to help pay for the family’s funeral expenses. More than $40,000 has been raised, for an initial goal of $10,000.
“WOW! I am literally speechless and in tears,” Davie said in an update on the fundraiser page. “We have by far reached our goal to cover expenses. The burial plot/opening and closing, funeral, flowers and headstone will be able to be paid in full. Any and all funds that are collected after all expenses are paid, is being paid directly to her husband Spencer and will be used to care for their children.”
Davie told NewsNation Sonya had two stepdaughters but Eliyanah was her first biological daughter. Sonya had given birth to five boys, Davie said.