Arizona Treasurer Dean Martin says he considers it a "miracle" he was able to hold and get to know his newborn son for three days before the boy died. Martin's wife, Kerry, died on Monday a few hours after giving birth.
In his statement today, Martin thanks the staff at Phoenix Children's Hospital and says he will give the public details about the tragedy. Martin also assures expectant mothers that similar cases are rare. (See our recent post about maternal deaths for more information).
Full text of Martin's news release:
Statement from State Treasurer Dean Martin
(PHOENIX) - "I want to thank everyone in Arizona and across the country for their prayers for myself, my family and my son Austin Michael Martin over these past few days. Last night Austin was reunited with his mother Kerry. While that was not the miracle everyone was praying for, we received the miracle we needed. The Lord gave all of us strength and peace and the opportunity to enjoy my son. I and my family members were able to experience the miracle of holding Austin in our arms and hugging him before he passed on. God gave me three days to get to know my son, as my wife had for nine months, and He gave me the gift of being able to hold him and say goodbye. Austin passed very peacefully at 11:14 p.m."
"I want to thank all the nurses, doctors and staff members at Phoenix Children's Hospital for their tremendous care and support we received since very late Monday night when Austin arrived via helicopter. We can't express how grateful we are to everyone here at Phoenix Children's Hospital. The staff here went above and beyond to care and comfort my son Austin, and to provide for the needs of the rest of his family. All of you are top notch and it was a privilege to be around a great team of medical professionals."
"As all of you know, I am a great proponent of transparency and I know there are many questions in regards to the circumstances that occurred on Monday that led to these tragic events. We will be providing more details in that regard in due course. However, now is the time to focus on the planning for the celebration of Kerry's and Austin's lives."
"My office will release the details of Kerry and Austin's memorial services as soon as we have them."
"The reason I chose to come out and speak to you today, is I know many expectant mothers are probably very worried right now. I know Kerry would have been. But I want you to know that the events that led to Kerry's death were rare, and Kerry would not want you to worry. Hug your family and cherish the miracle of life."
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"I also want to thank my fellow Arizonans for the tremendous outpouring of support and prayers. Thank you. You have provided all of us comfort that we are not alone in our grief. We have been inundated with requests for how people can help continue Kerry's work, from water safety education to financial literacy, and so many other causes she spent her life devoted to support. We will be setting up a memorial fund so that while she may be gone, her work will continue to help people across this state she loved."
"However, right now I ask everyone who knew or met Kerry to share with us their memories. Please email them to Dean@AmericanVisuals.com . She will always be my better half, and as we prepare our services for my wife and son, I want to share those stories. So those who have been touched by this tragedy will know why everyone loved Kerry."
"Your memories and prayers for strength for the family over the coming days are what we need right now. Thank you again for your support. We will get through this, because we know we will be reunited together someday."