The preliminary results of a post mortem examination conducted this morning on the body of expectant mother Janel Pierre, has confirmed that the former Miss Gros Islet Pageant contestant died of natural causes. However, police are continuing their investigations.
Pierre, who was eight months pregnant, died from cardio/respiratory failure as a result of pulmonary embolism – a condition in which one or more pulmonary arteries in the lungs become blocked, multiple reliable sources have told St. Lucia News Online (SNO).
In most cases, according to mayoclinic.org, pulmonary embolism is caused by blood clots that travel to the lungs from the legs or rarely other parts of the body (deep vein thrombosis, or DVT).
According to another online medical source – Medscape – pulmonary embolism (PE) is a leading cause of death among pregnant women in the developed world.
“The fact that PE remains such a threat is a clear indication of the difficulty in diagnosing it. The coexistence of pregnancy makes the workup and management of PE even more problematic, for many reasons. First, there are two patients at risk rather than 1. Second, overdiagnosis results in unnecessary, dangerous treatments that jeopardise both patients and makes the pregnancy and delivery far more complicated. Third, the usual imaging modalities, which we use without a second thought in nonpregnant patients, suddenly become more complicated in pregnant patients,” the website source added.
Pierre, 27, was discovered by her mother on Tuesday, Sept. 23 at around 7 p.m. on the floor of their apartment in Reduit, Gros Islet. Her mother immediately called for help. However, medical sources say Pierre and her unborn male child appear to have been dead even before her mother arrived.
According to relatives, Pierre showed no signs of prior illness and she had visited a doctor the day before her death.
A relative, who was present at the post mortem conducted by pathologist Dr. Stephen King this morning, told SNO that Pierre’s deadly condition “came on suddenly” or could have “developed a few hours before she passed”.
The post mortem also revealed Pierre developed placental complications.
A post mortem was also conducted on the baby, which weighed 3.1 kilos, when it was removed from his mother. A baby shower was planned for October 4, a relative said.
Sources say the baby had little chance of survival based on the situation.
“For the baby to have had any chance of survival, Janel would have had to be in a hospital and being attended to immediately after the condition was diagnosed. The baby would have died within 20 minutes or less after the mother passed,” a source said.
“No one should take blame for Janel’s death. Nothing could have been in that instant to save her or the child’s life, it’s just one of those sad situations,” the source added.
Meanwhile, another relative, who said the baby was seen after he was removed from Pierre’s womb, described the baby as healthy and handsome.
Pierre was a former student of the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School. Classmates of the deceased remember her as “always being a star”. “
She was in the first class to do CXC theatre arts, and was head cheer leader,” a former classmate said.
Pierre, representing Dilly’s Supermarket, won first runner-up, best performing talent and best evening wear in the 2013 Miss Gros Islet Pageant. She was also an early childhood educator at Montessori Centre and member of a local dance group.
The Miss Gros Islet organising committee also paid tribute to Pierre on their Facebook page:
“We can’t believe she is gone; such a super personality, talented, great listener, very soft-spoken, calm individual and beautiful … What you look for in a queen… Our hearts are broken … We will miss you immensely.”