Exclusives
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+RSS Feed
Fire EMSEMS TodayEMS Insider

Pregnant Former Olympian Dies, Baby Saved in Conn.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A former Olympic and professional runner from Ethiopia who was due to give birth in three weeks has died after collapsing at a Connecticut restaurant, but doctors were able to save her baby, her friends said Wednesday.

JEMS: How to Assess & Treat Common Pregnancy Complications

Meskerem Legesse, 26, who lived in Westport, Conn., was with her 2-year-old son when she collapsed at a Chinese restaurant in Hamden on Monday, said her friend, Fatima Sene. She was transported to a hospital where she died and the baby was saved, Sene said.

The cause of death wasn't clear. Sene said Legesse had suffered heart problems in the past.

"It is very sad. She was a very good person," Sene said. "She would do anything for anybody. And she loved that little boy she left behind."

Legesse ran in the 1,500 meter competition at the Athens Olympics in 2004. She finished 12th in a first-round heat with a time of 4:18:03 and didn't advance to the medal race. She moved on to a professional running career in the U.S., competing in events including the Boston Indoor Games, Fifth Avenue Mile in Manhattan and the Millrose Games in New York. She apparently hadn't raced within the past few years.

Legesse's children are now with their father, and arrangements are being made to bring Legesse's body to Ethiopia, Sene said. Legesse was planning to get married to the children's father, she said.

Legesse's death was first reported by Hartford-area CBS affiliate WFSB-TV, which obtained surveillance video from the restaurant showing Legesse entering with her son, sitting down in a chair and collapsing to the floor within seconds. Legesse had ordered takeout and was picking it up, said Sene's sister, Fatima Cisse, another friend of Legesse.

Legesse knew the two sisters from a hair salon down the street from the Chinese restaurant, they said.

Hamden firefighters and paramedics with American Medical Response were called to the restaurant at about 2 p.m. Monday and performed CPR on a pregnant woman who collapsed, according to fire and police officials who did not release the woman's name.

Doctors at Yale-New Haven Hospital were able to save the baby because of the CPR efforts both in the restaurant and in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, Hamden Fire Chief David Berardesca said.

A spokeswoman for the state medical examiner's office said the agency declined to perform an autopsy, citing Legesse's past health problems. She declined to elaborate.

A Yale-New Haven Hospital spokesman on Wednesday said he had no information about Legesse being brought there Monday.



RELATED ARTICLES

FERNO's New 'Proof of Concept' Ambulance has the EMS Industry Talking

You'll hear a lot more about this innovative new ambulance interior, so I will just highlight what its most impressive offerings are to me: Interchangable, c...

Washington State Signs Community Paramedicine Bill into Law

With a lot of passion and perseverance, it’s possible to change the history of EMS.

Firefighters Rescue Man Who Wedged Inside Wall to Evade Cops

A central Indiana man who hid inside a wall in his home to avoid arrest had to berescued by firefighters after he became wedged next to its chimney for ...

17 Patients Evaluated After Plane Makes Emergency Landing

SkyWest spokeswoman Marissa Snow said new information from medical personnel confirmed that "a total of three passengers reported a loss of consciousnes...

Nurse Practitioner Now Responding to EMS Calls with Green Valley Fire

The district has started a first of its kind program that brings urgent medical care right into a patient's home.

New WTC Study Focuses on EMS Personnel

New research shows that EMS workers who went to Ground Zero suffer from poor health.

Features by Topic

JEMS Connect

CURRENT DISCUSSIONS

 
 

EMS BLOGS

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

Featured Careers