Mom of 10 Dies Days After Giving Birth to First Daughter: 'She Prayed for a Girl,' Husband Says
A Texas mom of 10 died on Monday, less than two weeks after welcoming her first daughter, her family said.
For years, Sonya Harlow had prayed for a baby girl, her husband Spencer Harlow told The Bluebonnet News.
On Nov. 5, the mom, 39 — who shared 10 kids with Spencer, some of which are from their previous marriages — finally got to see her prayers answered when she welcomed baby Eliyanah, only to die just 11 days later, the outlet reported.
"I don't know how I'm going to live my life without her," Nancy Leger Davie, Sonya's best friend who set up a GoFundMe page for the Harlow family, told The Bluebonnet News. "She's been such a huge part of my life."
According to the outlet, Sonya had suffered complications during her pregnancy, including high blood pressure and other issues that prevented her from being able to work as an admissions director in the healthcare industry.
"Having not been able to work for several months before giving birth, her husband has been supporting all [10 kids] on his income alone," Davie noted on the GoFundMe.
After welcoming their daughter earlier this month, Spencer said he and Sonya knew they had to name the baby Eliyanah because it meant "God has answered."
"She had all boys before this and she prayed for a girl," he told The Bluebonnet News. "We named our daughter Eliyanah and she is God's answer to our prayers."
The Livingston couple remained in newborn bliss until Spencer said he woke up around 2 a.m. on Monday and heard his wife, who was laying next to him in bed with Eliyanah on her chest, making sounds of 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 recalled to the outlet, adding that he believes Sonya died as a result of a postpartum-related medical emergency.
In the wake of the tragedy, Davie set up the GoFundMe page to assist the Harlow family with funeral expenses. So far, it has raised over $7,400.
"Since this was so unexpected, there’s no life insurance or money set aside," she explained on the fundraiser. "Any money raised will be used towards funeral expenses/headstone. And if there’s anything left over, it will be used to care for her children."
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As the family awaits results from Sonya's autopsy, Spencer, a disabled veteran who served in the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, is continuing to grieve and remember all the things that made his wife special.
"Sonya was such a good mother and wife," he told The Bluebonnet News. "She was the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known. She was so vibrant and full of life. She was loving, kind and caring."
The Harlow family has plans to hold Sonya's funeral on Tuesday at the Greater Faith Apostolic Church in Dayton, though that date is subject to change pending her autopsy, according to the GoFundMe.
"If you ever met Sonya, you would know that she was one of the most caring, loving, godly and giving people you would ever meet," Davie wrote. "Please please share and donate so Sonya’s family can lay her to rest... She was loved by so many."
Those interested in donating to Sonya's GoFundMe can so do here.