A Texas mom of 10 has passed away less than two weeks after giving birth to her first daughter. Sonya Harlow, 39, leaves behind her husband, Spencer, and the ten children they shared between them, some from previous marriages.
According to The Bluebonnet News, Spencer woke up on Monday at 2 a.m. to sounds of his wife in distress. She was lying next to him in the bed with their newborn daughter, Eliyanah, on her chest. He performed CPR until paramedics arrived.
“I rolled over and could see she was dying,” Spencer told the outlet. “We did CPR on her until the paramedics arrived, but she had flatlined by then. It was too late.”
He says he believes Sonya suffered a post-partum medical emergency and hopes to get some answers after an autopsy. He described her pregnancy as complicated, saying she suffered from high blood pressure and issues that made it impossible for her to work.
Having all boys, Sonya had prayed for years for a daughter. On November 5, her prayers were answered when she gave birth to a baby girl.
“She had all boys before this, and she prayed for a girl. We named our daughter Eliyanah, and she is God’s answer to our prayers. Eliyanah means ‘God has answered,'” he told the outlet. “Sonya was such a good mother and wife. She was the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known. She was so vibrant and full of life. She was loving, kind, and caring.”
Nancy Leger Davie, a family friend, set up a GoFundMe to help cover funeral costs. With Sonya unable to work for months before giving birth, Spencer, a disabled veteran who served in the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, supported the family solely on his income.
“Since this was so unexpected, there’s no life insurance or money set aside. 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,” Davie wrote.
So far, the fundraiser has garnered more than $28,000 in donations.