In the beginning, there was a man, a woman and a song.
Frankie Beverly’s “Before I Let Go” blasted over the sound system at a birthday party when Charles Johnson saw Kira. In that moment, he did something very out of character. He began singing along, serenading the stranger at first sight.
Kira Johnson is described as unstoppable. She spoke five languages, traveled the world and raced cars with Charles by her side. The couple had their first child, Charles Johnson V, about a year before their spontaneous wedding in Mexico.
In 2016 they were expecting again.
“We always wanted back-to-back boys. When we found out that we were welcoming another boy, we were just ecstatic,” Charles recalled.
He said Kira never missed a prenatal visit and got great reports every time. All signs pointed to a healthy delivery.
Charles said he knew his wife was admitted into the hospital in exceptional health and delivered a healthy baby boy. However, he realized something was wrong as he watched her struggle in the recovery room.
He noticed blood in Kira’s catheter. He said he brought it to the attention of the nurses and doctors, and the staff ordered a CT scan.
“That was supposed to be performed STAT,” Charles said. “In my mind, I’m thinking, ‘That means immediately.'”
Charles said he repeatedly asked the medical staff for help, but waited for hours.
“She’s beginning to tremble uncontrollably,” Charles recalled. “She’s beginning to shake. She’s beginning to be in increasingly more pain. She’s becoming sensitive to the touch. There’s still no CT scan.”
Charles said a CT was never performed, and they waited seven hours before doctors took her back for an internal exam.
When the time came to examine Kira, Charles said the doctor told him they would fix the problem.
“‘She’ll be back in 15 minutes,” Charles said the doctor told him. “And that was the last time I saw Kira alive.”
Charles said doctors found three liters of blood in Kira’s stomach and her heart stopped immediately.
Less than 12 hours after giving birth to their second child, Kira Johnson died from a hemorrhage.
“We walked in for what we expected to be the happiest day of our life. And we walked straight into a nightmare,” Charles said. “I sit awake at nights thinking maybe I should have grabbed somebody by the collar, maybe I should’ve turned a table over, would that have made a difference? Even two years later, I still can’t make sense of it in my mind.”
SOURCE: Erin Peterson, Jeremy Campbell, Ciara Bri’d Frisbie, Blis Savidge, Matt Livingston
NBC 5 KSDK