Krystal Anderson: Longtime Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader dies after stillbirth

Francis Akhalbey March 28, 2024
Krystal Lakeshia Anderson died shortly after having a stillbirth -- Photo: Krystal Anderson/Instagram

Krystal Lakeshia Anderson, a longtime cheerleader for the Kansas City Chiefs and a women’s health advocate, passed away shortly after having a stillbirth. Per CBS News, Anderson’s obituary stated that the 40-year-old passed away on March 20 “shortly after the birth of her daughter, Charlotte Willow Anderson, who was born at rest.”

A GoFundMe set up to raise funds for Anderson’s medical expenses, memorial services and initiate a “legacy fund” stated that she died after a “brave battle against sepsis.” “Krissy sought out hospitalization during her 21st week of pregnancy, and despite the trauma of losing her baby girl, Charlotte, during childbirth, she fought on,” the fundraiser added.

“Her fight with sepsis, led to organ failure, and she was placed on life support. Krissy underwent three surgeries, but the source of infection remained elusive.”

The Kansas City Chiefs cheerleading team in an Instagram post stated that Anderson cheered for the NFL franchise for over 100 games from 2006-2011 and 2013-2016. Anderson was also the Chiefs’ representative during the 2015 Pro Bowl and also “served as a captain of her team, cheered during the London game, and visited our troops around the world, including in Iraq, Kuwait, and throughout the United States,” the statement continued.

“She was loved and adored by her teammates, fans, and strangers who were never strangers for long,” the statement also said, adding that Anderson held an alumni role on the team after her time as a cheerleader. 

Outside cheerleading, the obituary also stated that the deceased 40-year-old worked as a Software Engineer at Oracle Health (formerly Cerner). She is said to have made “significant contributions to improving healthcare, including being awarded a patent for developing software that assesses the risk of post-partum hemorrhage.”

Anderson is survived by her husband as well as her parents and several family members. The obituary also stated that she was “preceded in death by her infant son, James Charles, and infant daughter, Charlotte Willow.”

Per Cleveland Clinic, sepsis occurs when the “immune system has a dangerous reaction to an infection.” “It causes extensive inflammation throughout your body that can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and even death. Many different kinds of infections can trigger sepsis, which is a medical emergency.”

Maternal sepsis, according to the WHO, is a “life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to infection causes injury to its own tissues and organs during pregnancy, childbirth, post-abortion or the postpartum period.” It is also the third most common cause of maternal mortality.

In 2020, Face2Face Africa reported that data showed Black women in the U.S. die during pregnancy or in the months after giving birth two and half times more often than white women and three times more often than Hispanic women.

The report was the first time the United States had standardized maternal mortality data from all 50 states and experts said it was a first step toward identifying ways to reduce pregnancy-related deaths across the country.

About 700 women die from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth every year, putting the U.S. in the last place among all developed nations in terms of maternal mortality, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It is a critical statistic to get right. It made it impossible to make any sense of trend at the national level,” said Bob Anderson, chief of the mortality statistics branch at the National Center for Health Statistics.

A 2016 study by the Brookings Institution also showed that Black mothers with advanced professional degrees, such as a master’s degree or higher, have a greater chance of infant mortality compared to white women whose highest education level is the eighth grade.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 28, 2024


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