PORTLAND, Mich. (WOOD) - Kelly Barnes' family should be celebrating the birth of herthird child. Instead, they're mourning the Portland mom's suddendeath.
Barnes, 34, died one week after giving birth to a baby boyshe named Vincent. Her husband, Greg, found her body in the livingroom of their Ionia County home Saturday morning.
Kelly Barnes died of natural causes, Portland Police Chief BobBauer said. In a phone conversation Tuesday morning, Greg Barnestold 24 Hour News 8 health officials told him his wife died of amassive stroke.
Barnes said his wife had been complaining of a bad headacheon Thursday and even went to the emergency room at Sparrow Hospitalin Lansing.
Staff at Sparrow told her the headache was likely the result ofhormones, dehydration or the spinal block she had during childbirthand they gave her medication, Greg Barnes said.
Although he said his wife had a history of headaches, this oneseemed different and particularly painful, migrating from one partof her head to another.
Stroke-related deaths after childbirth are "very, very rare,"said Dr. Stephen Cohle, the Kent County Medical Examiner.
"I don't know if this could have been prevented," he said whenasked of Kelly Barnes' visit to Sparrow. "Hindsight is always20/20.
"I don't know if there's anything (Sparrow staff) observed thatwould make you say 'why didn't they hospitalize her?' There'salways a question of what should or could have been done. Had theyadmitted her, she still might have died."
While it's possible a postnatal stroke could be the result of apre-existing condition, it would appear to be connected to thepregnancy, Cohle said.
Greg Barnes said he does not believe his wife had beendiagnosed with preeclampsia, which is high blood pressure thatdevelops during pregnancy and could contribute to a stroke. ButKelly Barnes' pregnancy was considered high-risk because she wasdiagnosed with gestational diabetes, her husband said.
The baby, Vincent, had water on his lungs at birth and spenttime in the Intensive Care Unit. He was moved to the regular floor,but had to return to ICU after he stopped breathing briefly.
Doctors want Vincent to go "a few days" without any breathingproblems before going home, said Greg Barnes, adding that Vincent'shomecoming could happen as soon as Friday.
Kelly Barnes was "overwhelmed with joy" when she becamepregnant with Vincent, her husband said.
Kelly, whom Greg Barnes described as "unique and colorful" and"loved by everyone," had really wanted another baby.
"I wasn't so sure," said her husband, adding that it took him alittle while to get used to the idea.
But Greg Barnes said Kelly was so excited, she didn't even mindhaving to sell her beloved yellow convertible Volkswagen, whichdidn't have enough seat belts for three children.
Kelly owned a business which she ran out of her home: A hairstudio called Salon Jabez. Greg Barnes is employed by the PortlandDepartment of Public Works.
The Barnes have two other children, 11-year-old Rikki, agirl, and 10-year-old Dominic, a boy.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Rikki, Dominic, andVincent Barnes Education Fund. Funeral home Schrauben-Lehman, 210 East Bridgein Portland, is taking the donations for now and a bank fund willbe set up eventually.
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