One family is now suing Montefiore Hospital claiming a young doctor botched a routine delivery by failing to remove the entire placenta. It is heartbreaking on every level.
10-month-old Ryo Natal, who is on the cusp of walking, will never know her mother's love first-hand.
28-year-old Athena died 12 days after giving birth.
"I never thought I'd be sitting here as a single father without my wife," said Dario Natal, Ryo's father.
Little Ryo was born last April at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx.
What began as a successful healthy delivery would end in tragedy.
The family claims the doctor left one-third of the placenta inside the uterus, causing massive bleeding, infection and ultimately death.
Twice, Athena went back to the hospital seeking help. Twice she was sent home.
"This is a super tragedy because it so easily could have been avoided. In the afterbirth, the unquestionably most important thing is that placenta be fully removed," said John C. Dearie, family's attorney.
Montefiore, which delivers one-third of the babies born in the Bronx could not comment in this case because it's now in litigation but did express: "our heart grieves for the family."
For Ryo who is now being raised by her single father, grandmother and relatives, she will have to learn about her mother through second hand stories and pictures.
Athena, an artist drew anime scenes for her own baby shower.
The city medical examiner determined the cause of the death to be the placenta left behind.
Athena wanted to donate her placenta for medical research, but because it had been broken, it was thrown away.
Now a broken family must learn how to go forward.
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