Meskerem Legesse: Pregnant Former Olympian Dies, But Baby Is Saved

Thursday, 18 Jul 2013 12:49 PM

By Newsmax Wires

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Meskerem Legesse, a pregnant former Olympic runner from Ethiopia, collapsed and died at a Connecticut restaurant Monday, but doctors were able to save her baby, due in three weeks, her friends said. Legesse, 26, had reportedly suffered heart problems in the past, a friend told The Associated Press.

Legesse, who lived in Westport, was with her 2-year-old son when she collapsed at a Chinese restaurant in Hamden on Monday, said her friend Fatima Sene. She was transported to a hospital, where she died and the baby was saved, Sene said.

"It is very sad. She was a very good person," Sene said. "She would do anything for anybody. And she loved that little boy she left behind."

Editor's Note: Don't Miss These Free Government Giveaways

Legesse ran in the 1,500-meter competition at the Athens Olympics in 2004. She finished 12th in a first-round heat with a time of 4:18:03 and didn't advance to the medal race. She moved on to a professional running career in the U.S., competing in events including the Boston Indoor Games, Fifth Avenue Mile in Manhattan and the Millrose Games in New York. She apparently hadn't raced within the past few years.

Legesse's children are now with their father, and arrangements are being made to take Legesse's body to Ethiopia, Sene said. Legesse was planning to get married to the children's father, she said.

Legesse's death was first reported by Hartford-area CBS affiliate WFSB-TV, which obtained surveillance video from the restaurant showing Legesse entering with her son, sitting down in a chair and collapsing to the floor within seconds. Legesse had ordered takeout and was picking it up, said Sene's sister, Fatima Cisse, another friend of Legesse.

Legesse knew the two sisters from a hair salon down the street from the Chinese restaurant, they said.

Hamden firefighters and paramedics with American Medical Response were called to the restaurant at about 2 p.m. Monday and performed CPR on a pregnant woman who collapsed, according to fire and police officials who did not release the woman's name.

Doctors at Yale-New Haven Hospital were able to save the baby because of the CPR efforts both in the restaurant and in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, Hamden Fire Chief David Berardesca said.

A spokeswoman for the state medical examiner's office said the agency declined to perform an autopsy, citing Legesse's past health problems. She declined to elaborate.

A Yale-New Haven Hospital spokesman on Wednesday said he had no information about Legesse being brought there Monday.

Urgent: Is Obamacare Hurting Your Wallet? Vote in Poll

Related stories:

British Olympian Dies as America's Cup Yacht Capsizes

Snowboarder Chelone 'Chilly' Miller Dies: Bode Miller’s Brother Had Seizure

Former US Olympic Runner Dies in Plane Crash

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
[Error loading the WebPart '']
Value cannot be null. Parameter name: virtualPath
Send me more news as it happens.
 
 
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Baby Jesus Stolen From Church Nativity, Replaced by Severed Pig Head

Friday, 26 Dec 2014 18:40 PM

Sometime between Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, someone stole baby Jesus from a Massachusetts church's nativity sc . . .

Transit Officers Help Deliver Baby on Philly Subway on Christmas Day

Friday, 26 Dec 2014 18:03 PM

Two Philadelphia transit police officers helped to deliver a baby on Christmas day after the mother's water broke on a s . . .

Mall of Georgia Flash Mob Wedding Takes Bride by Surprise (Video)

Friday, 26 Dec 2014 17:39 PM

A bride planning to take photos was surprised at the Mall of Georgia with a flash mob and a wedding, all arranged by her . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved