Husband Of Kansas City Chiefs Cheer Alum Speaks Out On Wife’s Death After Stillbirth

Clayton Anderson, the husband of longtime Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader Krystal Anderson, who died last month after giving birth, is speaking out about his wife’s death.

In an interview with ABC News published Thursday, Clayton Anderson opened up about what it was like to grieve the loss of his wife, who was black, as well as the importance of raising awareness of the black maternal mortality crisis in the United States .

Krystal Anderson died at age 40 of cardiac arrest caused by a whole-body infection known as sepsis on March 20 at a Kansas hospital, after giving birth to a stillborn child, according to Clayton Anderson. The former Chiefs cheerleader previously suffered a stillbirth in 2022.

“She was my world, … my best friend and obviously the love of my life and the mother of our children,” Clayton Anderson said of his late wife.

He also addressed racial disparities in maternal health and how health systems overall address high-risk pregnancies.

“Krystal is 40, she’s black, and we’ve had a loss before – but even then, (doctors) say, you know, you can’t start a plan with maternal fetal medicine or doctors high-risk maternity ward before we get to week 14,” he told ABC News.

He then continued: “Any pregnancy is high risk…when you’re a woman of color or you’re older, and they need to be treated that way from the beginning.”

“Expecting a person who has suffered a loss to go four weeks between visits to their healthcare providers… is the same protocol that is applied to a very healthy 23-year-old,” he said. -he added, referring to his wife’s situation. “It cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach.”

AdventHealth Shawnee Mission, where Krystal received care, released the following statement to HuffPost: “Our hearts ache during this tragic situation. We, as well as the independent providers who provide care at our facilities, strive to provide the best possible care to each patient based on their specific needs and circumstances.

“We send our prayers and support to the family members and loved ones who are experiencing the devastating loss of a precious life,” the statement continued.

Clayton told ABC News that his late wife underwent a procedure when she was 16 weeks pregnant, called cervical cerclage, which helps keep the “cervix closed during pregnancy to prevent premature birth,” according to the Cleveland Clinic . He said his next visit was scheduled for four weeks later.

But after Krystal experienced complications at 20 weeks, doctors placed her on partial bed rest and planned to admit the former cheerleader to a specialized hospital unit to manage what’s known as labor ” periviable” at 22 weeks. But the couple reportedly rushed to the hospital during Krystal’s 20th week of pregnancy, after she started experiencing back pain.

A doctor determined on March 16 that no heartbeat could be detected in the fetus. Krystal developed a fever a few hours later. Sepsis caused organ failure and she died despite three surgeries, Clayton told the outlet.

Last month, Clayton told Fox affiliate WDAF-TV in Kansas City that he felt “lost” after Krystal’s death.

“There are a lot of people in this house and it seems empty,” he said at the time.

In addition to being a cheerleader, Krystal worked as a software engineer, where she earned a patent for her work “developing software that assesses the risk of postpartum hemorrhage,” according to her obituary.

Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women, according to the CDC. The maternal mortality crisis affects Black parents at all levels of education, economics and care, Dr. Tracey Sylvester, an obstetrician-gynecologist in California, told HuffPost in August.

The official Instagram account for the Kansas City Chiefs cheerleaders released a statement last month mourning Krystal’s death.

The group said Krystal supported the organization for more than 100 games from 2006 to 2011 and 2013 to 2016.

“She was loved and adored by teammates, fans and strangers who never remained strangers for long,” the statement said, later adding: “We will miss her kind spirit, joyful energy and radiance.”

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