Things That Matter

A 23-Year-Old Latina And Her Baby Died During Labor, Now Her Parents Are Suing Her OBGYN

In 2018, a startling report published by Obstetrics & Gynecology showed that minorities have a higher risk of dying during childbirth or experience complications during labor. The study concluded that black women, Latinas, and Native American women have a 70 percent chance of experiencing life-threatening complications.

 While the factors for these results may vary, including health issues, some speculate that minority women aren’t properly cared for by medical personal. 

A 23-year-old woman and her infant son died just hours after she had given birth. 

Credit: Facebook/@tracy.dominguez

The story of Demi Dominguez, of Bakersfield, California is a tragic one because it could have been prevented. Dominguez first went to see her doctor on April 16 because she was experiencing swelling and high blood pressure. The doctor gave her medication for the high blood pressure and sent her home. She then returned a couple of days later and was told to go home after they checked her blood pressure. On April 19, Dominguez’s family found her seizing and unresponsive. She was rushed to the hospital, and medical officials were able to deliver the baby boy. Unfortunately, the baby died soon after, and so did his mom. 

Now her family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against two OBGYN’s at Mercy Hospital in Bakersfield. 

One of the most disturbing parts about this story is that one of the doctors named in the lawsuit, who the family alleges contributed to the death of this young woman, is also part of other litigations. The doctor in question, Dr. Arthur M. Park is also facing charges of malpractice in the death of another one of his patients. A mother of three died in 2016 during childbirth under his care. The Medical Board of California suing him for negligence and are attempting to take his medical license away. 

According to court documents, obtained by a local NBC News affiliate, the suit says the “doctors were negligent in that they failed to do the following: timely or appropriately evaluate the seriousness of Dominguez’s condition; order appropriate studies to properly diagnose and treat her; timely administer appropriate medications to her; schedule appropriate followup care for her; and otherwise treat the condition of Dominguez and her son in an appropriate manner.”

If this story could not get more unfortunate, the family allege that the baby was healthy and could have survived.

Credit: Facebook/@tracy.dominguez

 However, because the doctor rushed to take out her placenta, he caused further damage, which led to both deaths.

Her family said that because Dr. Park too out her placenta so quickly, this resulted in a lot of blood loss. They also allege that Dr. Park failed to call a proper response team to tend to Dominguez. 

In the 2018 Obstetrics & Gynecology study, blood pressure is a huge factor as to why minority women experience complications during childbirth. Doctors say to avoid complications while pregnant women should attempt to get in the best shape they can be. However, even the most healthy women experience issues, especially if their minorities. 

Celebrity tennis champ, Serena Williams shared her frightening ordeal during the delivery of her baby girl, which brought so much awareness to this relatable issue. 

Credit: Instagram/@serenawilliams

Williams understood the state of her body and health better than anyone, so when she began having shortness of breath, she knew it could lead to a pulmonary embolism. When she informed the nurses to get a CT scan and a heparin drip, they at first didn’t take her seriously. Once they finally did, they realized Williams was correct. In other words, if Williams hadn’t advocated for herself, she could have died right there and then. 

“In twenty-first-century America, in the most powerful nation on Earth, no woman should ever die from pregnancy and childbirth. Yet every year in the United States, more than 700 women die from pregnancy-related causes, and more than 50,000 women suffer a life-threatening complication,” Michael Lu, senior associate dean at George Washington University School of Public Health and former director of federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau, told People magazine

Unfortunately for Dominguez, it wasn’t just that she had high blood pressure, it’s that her doctors didn’t do anything to help her.
 Credit: Facebook/@tracy.dominguez

Her life was just beginning. The 23-year-old was just a month away from graduating college at Cal State University, Bakersfield. Her mom ended up going to graduation and accepting the diploma on behalf of her daughter. She left behind her husband and a huge family. 

“People gravitated to Demi’s outgoing personality,” her obit states. “She was admired for her big beautiful smile, larger than life personality, and fierce independence. She had an incredible ability to always be present, to listen, to cry with you, and wanted to have a hand in changing your life. She was a passionate follower of Christ, always ready to pray, so full of joy, and unconditional love. She had an incredible sense of humor, loved to dance, and she was so much FUN!” 

READ: She Dropped Out Of High School When She Got Pregnant And Her Farm Working Parents Gave Her All The Advice She Needed To Get A Master’s

 
 

Remembering Pedro Zamora, The HIV-Positive Man Who Changed Hearts And Minds While On ‘Real World: San Francisco’

Culture

Remembering Pedro Zamora, The HIV-Positive Man Who Changed Hearts And Minds While On ‘Real World: San Francisco’

juddwinick / Instagram

Back in 1992, MTV first aired “The Real World,” which went on to define reality TV forever. The shows premise and tagline — “This is the true story…of seven strangers…picked to live in a house… and have their lives taped…to find out what happens…when people stop being polite…and start getting real… ” — seemed like a fresh concept. At the time, viewers were simply taking in how people from different backgrounds got along. A lot of the time, they didn’t. In the middle of all that TV drama, something unusual was taking place: viewers were meeting individuals that presented extraordinary stories. In the show’s 27-year span, only one person stood out among them all and is remembered for literally changing the world. 

In 1994, MTV’s “Real World” San Francisco featured a 22-year-old Cuban named Pedro Zamora. 

Credit: @dc408dxtr / Twitter

For those not familiar with Zamora, his life story is a remarkable one of survival. He was just 8-years-old when he and some of his family members left Cuba on the Mariel Boatlift and settled in Miami. Sadly, his mother died of cancer a couple of years later when he was 13. Zamora still excelled in school. It was around this time that he realized he was gay. While he did come out to his family, they mostly feared that Zamora would get discriminated against because of his sexuality. 

At 17, Zamora found out he contracted HIV and decided to bring awareness to his disease. 

Credit: @theadvocatemag / Twitter

While attending Miami Dade College, Zamora became a fierce AIDS educator. One of the most impressive traits that he possessed was that he could engage with people of different ages and backgrounds. He was a great speaker. It was his charming characteristics and profound knowledge that made him perfect for TV. He ventured into several famous talk shows of that time to speak about what it was like to be a young gay man living with AIDS. 

With the encouragement of friends, Zamora felt he could reach more people with his message of empathy and education about HIV and AIDS by auditioning to be on MTV’s “Real World.” Naturally, he was one of nine to be cast on the show. 

As a cast member on the show, Zamora helped to educate his housemates about living with AIDS. Those moments on MTV also informed millions of viewers. Zamora loved for people to learn about his Cuban culture. 

Credit: @simplymiatx23 / Twitter

Today with the lack of Latino representation in the arts and entertainment industry, we now see how rare it was to have two Cuban Americans on MTV talking about their culture and family. Another castmember that has continued to be in the limelight was Zamora’s housemate Rachel Campos Duffy. She was a young conservative back then, and she still is today as the wife of former GOP representative Sean Duffy (he too was a former cast member of the “Real World” Seattle). While Rachel and Zamora clashed on various topics, including his homosexuality, their bond broke through her closemindedness. 

While Zamora died shortly after the last episode of the “Real World” aired, his legacy continues to be inspiring 25 years later.

Zamora’s housemate and one of his loudest advocates today, Judd Winick, who wrote the 2000 book “Pedro and Me” said this on social media: 

“I’d ask that on this incredible milestone that we try to remember how he lived, and how he literally changed the world, rather than focusing on our loss of him. By appearing on The Real World in ‘94, he showed everyone what it was really like to be living with AIDS, to be living out, to love, to be loved by friends, supported by family—to have a full life. And it seems crazy that this was a lesson that needed to be taught. But it did.” 

Rachel echoed that sentiment on the 25th anniversary of his death on Twitter: “@RealWorldMTV changed many lives -including mine. #PedroZamora died 25 yrs ago today, but his impact lives on. I miss Pedro & the days when MTV respected young people enough to make shows like the Real World, San Francisco.”

For those of us who watched Zamora on the “Real World,” we learned about showing empathy and compassion for those that suffered AIDS and HIV and continue to live with it today. Zamora also taught viewers to always show kindness, respect, and love for one another.

Credit: nycaidsmemorial / Instagram

Click here for more information on the Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship and The Pedro Zamora Public Policy Fellowship

READ: A Single Mom On DACA Is One Of The Newest Cast Members On MTV’s New Season Of ‘The Real World

Selena Gomez Says That Social Media Users Had Attacked Her When She Gained Weight: ‘Really Messed Me Up’

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Says That Social Media Users Had Attacked Her When She Gained Weight: ‘Really Messed Me Up’

selenagomez / Instagram

Two years ago, actress and singer Selena Gomez opened up to fans about her experience with lupus and undergoing a kidney transplant. The summer before she took a public break from her music career. The singer had been traveling her for Revival world tour when she announced her decision to take a break to focus on her health. She cited anxiety, panic attacks and depression as side effects to her lupus diagnosis and expressed her need to take care of her health. Now, Gomez has revealed why she spent so much time out of the spotlight. She was undergoing a kidney transplant.

Since her surgery, Gomez has been open about her experience and its impact on her physical and mental health.

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The singer opened up even more about the process of recovery during a recent podcast, in which she revealed that she’d experienced body shaming her health led to weight gain. During an appearance on a recent episode of “Giving Back Generation,” a video podcast by Raquelle Stevens, Gomez said criticism impacted her “big time.”

During the interview, Gomez said that after being attacked by body shamers online she decided that she needed some time away from social media. This was primarily because they were having so much of an impact on her mental health.

“I experienced [body-shaming] with my weight fluctuation for the first time,” Selena told Stevens during the podcast. “I have lupus and deal with kidney issues and high blood pressure, so I deal with a lot of health issues, and for me that’s when I really started noticing more of the body-image stuff.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that, occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems — including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms often mimic those of other ailments. The most distinctive sign of lupus — a facial rash that resembles the wings of a butterfly unfolding across both cheeks — occurs in many but not all cases of lupus. Some people are born with a tendency toward developing lupus, which may be triggered by infections, certain drugs or even sunlight. While there’s no cure for lupus, treatments can help control symptoms.” 

Speaking about how the autoimmune disease has affected her weight, Gomez said that it’s normal for her to fluctuate.

“It’s the medication I have to take for the rest of my life — it depends on even the month, to be honest. So for me, I really noticed when people started attacking me for that,” she explained. “In reality, that’s just my truth. I fluctuate. It depends what’s happening in my life.”

Gomez went onto further explain how the body shaming affected how she has chosen to interact with her fans moving forward.

“I’m very happy with living my life and being present. Because that’s it. Similar to me posting a photo and walking away. For me that’s it. I will do a red carpet, I will do whatever. I don’t need to see it. I participated. I felt wonderful and that’s where the extent of it is,” she said. “I don’t care to expose myself to everyone and hear what they have to say about it… I don’t care about that stuff but I did start gaining weight and I didn’t mind it. And that hurt…I’ve experienced people who try to control that kind of stuff before. This is my time and I want to do it the way I want to do it.”

It’s not the first time Gomez has opened up how criticism about her appearance has affected her mental health and how she chooses to include social media in her life. 

In 2018, Gomez explained that she was taking a step back from social media because she was being affected by disparaging and negative comments online.

“Update: taking a social media break,” she wrote to fans in a post on Instagram at the time. “Again. As much as I am grateful for the voice that social media gives each of us, I am equally grateful to be able to step back and live my life present to the moment I have been given. Kindness and encouragement only for a bit! Just remember— negative comments can hurt anybody’s feelings. Obvi.”

“Update: taking a social media break,” she wrote to fans in a post on Instagram at the time. “Again. As much as I am grateful for the voice that social media gives each of us, I am equally grateful to be able to step back and live my life present to the moment I have been given. Kindness and encouragement only for a bit! Just remember— negative comments can hurt anybody’s feelings. Obvi.”