Local woman dies after giving birth at home

Family didn't call paramedics when complications began

Lake City Reporter/January 5, 2005
By Justin Lang

The death of a Lake City woman who died giving birth at her home was the result of natural causes, according to the Medical Examiner's Office in Jacksonville.

Kathryn Marie Kennedy, 23, of 758 S.W. Stoneridge Drive died Sunday of exsanguinations, or loss of blood.

The retention of placenta was considered a secondary cause of death, according to the Medical Examiner's Office.

Investigators with the Columbia Country Sheriff's Office said they will not plan to file charges in the death.

"She basically hemorrhaged, and there are no charges going to be filed," said Sheriff Bill Gootee.

According to investigation reports, the Kennedys, being members of Meade Ministries and "of the End Time Religion," did not call for emergency services when the woman began having complications.

The Kennedys waited as long as three hours after she died, according to the investigation report.

Goatee said after speaking with family members present at the birth and his detectives, he believes the death may have been unavoidable, even if Kathryn were at a hospital.

"Apparently from the witnesses that were there and in talking with the family members, everything (with the delivery) went fine, the baby was fine and she was fine and went back in the bedroom to lay down and she had just basically hemorrhaged," Goatee said.

"They really didn't think there was a problem until they discovered it, and it was too late by then."

Because Kathryn was not a minor, Goatee said her choice to deliver at home "is her determination and privilege to do," and "the family was very distraught, understandably."

Kathryn's husband Phillip Kennedy did not return a call from the Lake City Reporter seeing comment Friday.

Sheriff's office death investigation reporters say Columbia EMS was called to the home at about 1:50 PM Sunday when paramedics found Kathryn dead in the master bedroom.

According to reports, Phillip, 26 told EMS and deputies that he delivered their son at about 5:30 AM without the help of a doctor or midwife.

But reports say he told the sheriff's office he was assisted in the birth by his mother Julie Kennedy and mother-in-law Robin Burbach.

"Phillip said the birth went perfect and the baby and Kathryn was healthy," according to a deputy's report.

"He then said that Kathryn began began having problems passing the placenta, so they put her in a bed to let her rest."

According to reports Phillip said he kept checking on his wife until about 11 AM when "Kathryn felt like she was having labor pains and thought she would be able to pass the placenta."

Reports say Phillip said the placenta was coming out in pieces, and his wife then became very pale and "appeared to have passed out on the bed and (was) not breathing."

He then began performing CPR on his wife, "but could not advise for how long." the report states.

According to the report when CPR was unsuccessful, Phillip said, "that he and his family members prayed about Kathryn."

The report form the sheriff's office investigator who responded to the scene states the man called 911 but by that time it was too late.

According to the report, the investigator said Phillip told him there was nothing in their beliefs that would prevent them from getting medical assistance.

The investigator's report says "I was advised that rescue gave indication that she had been dead for at least three hours prior to their arrival."

Because the death was unattended, and Kathryn was not found under the care of a doctor, the Medical Examiner's Office, by procedure examined the body and ruled on the death.

According to the investigation report, Phillip's father J. Scott Kennedy came to the house after Kathryn had died to assist by "removing all the soiled sheets and the placenta."

The sheriff's office later retrieved those items and sent them along with Kathryn's body to the Medical Examiner's Office.

On Monday, the sheriff's office investigation report states that the Medical Examiner's Office ruled on the death as "natural causes," and "this case can be classified as exceptionally closed."

According to Meade Ministries official Web site, "Meade Ministries is a Bible-based fellowship of Spirit-filled Christian believers," and "we are fully committed to our first love Jesus Christ."

About Jesus Christ the Web site states, among other things, "He still heals and delivers His people who put their trust in Him."

"Every human being who has ever lived will ultimately bow to Jesus Christ and confess that He is Lord."

"There is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun, and Jesus Christ alone decides the eternal destiny of a man's soul."

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