Chervonne Magaoa was looking forward to bringing her triplets home.

Their room was ready with new clothes, blankets and even dressers labelled with each of her new sons' names.

But no one would have thought the boys would be coming home without their mother. The New Zealand-born 34-year-old died shortly after giving birth.

Magaoa, who was born in Hastings but raised in Hawaii, arrived at the Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women and Children last Thursday for her weekly appointment, when things suddenly went wrong.

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Her father, Bishop Hyran Smith, took her that day as her husband, Martin Magaoa, continued to work to ensure they had as much money as they could get, given the triplets' September 6 due date was just around the corner.

Speaking from the hospital yesterday, Smith told the Herald the day had started off as normal.

"Usually, the appointment takes 30 minutes. But it ended up being longer."

Doctors informed Magaoa and Smith she would need to have the babies that day. She asked her father if he could pick up her husband and then get her 6-year-old son Tanner, who was at school.

Unknown to Smith, Martin Magaoa was already on his way to the hospital. Smith would miss the birth of the triplets - and the moment his daughter took her final breath.

"By 5.30pm, the babies were born. Everything was fine and then she got a complication.

"She had an amniotic fluid embolism and that was her cause of death. The doctor said statistics-wise, it only happens to one in 100,000 [women], so it was a rare event."

The condition occurs when amniotic fluid, which surrounds a baby in the uterus during pregnancy and contains products such as cells, hair, urine and secretions from the babies, enters the mother's bloodstream. It can cause serious reactions, including heart failure and uncontrollable bleeding. In New Zealand it kills about two mothers a year.

Smith said by the time he returned to the hospital, his daughter had died.

"My daughter-in-law who got here before me, as soon as she saw me, she came jumping out of the car, crying. That's when I found out."

The family is now preparing a funeral service for their loved one, to be held on Saturday (local time).

Relatives from New Zealand are also expected, including those from Bridge Pa, Hawke's Bay, where Smith is from and where he and his late wife, Barbara Jean, and their eldest children lived for a while in the 1980s.

They are also rallying to support Magaoa's husband and his now-mammoth task of taking care of his four young sons: Tanner, Aayden, Blaise and Carson.

Smith said his son-in-law was coping okay, but the family acknowledged how difficult this will be for him and have set up a GoFundMe fundraising page to help.

"I got to talk in church today and I said: 'Well, they say it takes a village to raise a child. But with these three kids, we need more than the village."

The couple met while attending Brigham Young University, the Hawaiian campus, and married in 2007.

They had struggled to have children and were elated when they had eldest son Tanner, but wanted to give him a sibling. She underwent IVF treatment and became pregnant.

"She had a hard time having babies. She and her husband had tried for quite a while to have babies and now that they had triplets, she didn't want to lose them.

"She was very healthy and she really wanted those babies. She had to keep her feet up, she had to eat good. She had everything lined up for the babies, she even had dressers with their names on them."

Martin Magaoa paid tribute to his wife in a poignant message yesterday, part of which he wrote on behalf of his triplets.

"This is for you, my sweet babe. Your three baby boys are healthy and progressing as each day goes by. You would have been so proud to see and hold your treasures truly gifted from God.

"Your sacrifice and love for them is amazing. Your life lives on in them.

"Love you, Mommy. Aayden, Blaise and Carson.''

To donate to Chervonne's family, visit: Chervonne: Wife & Mother of Four