Details Emerge in Death of Dr. Donda West, Kanye Issues Statement
Kanye West’s mother, Dr. Donda West, died on Saturday night (November 10) at the Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center in Marina del Rey. The Associated Press reports that Dr. West was brought to the hospital by paramedics who responded to a 911 call from her home at around 7:35 p.m. Deborah Ettinger, a vice president at the hospital, says that she was not breathing when she arrived at the emergency room at around 8:00 p.m., and doctors were unable to resuscitate her. She was pronounced dead at 8:30 p.m. According to website TMZ.com, Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Jan Adams has stated that he performed a tummy tuck and a breast reduction on the 58 year-old former English professor, but has denied that her death was the result of any error on his part. Dr. Adams also speculated that Kanye’s mother may have died from a heart attack, pulmonary embolism, or massive vomiting. Lt. Fred Corral, a spokesman for the county coroner’s office, said that initial information pointed to “complications of surgery” as the cause of death, and that an official autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday (November 14).
Adams told TMZ that Dr. West had consulted with him about the surgery for four months, and had changed her mind several times. It is not clear exactly when or where Adams performed the surgical procedure. Another Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, Dr. Andre Aboolian, has also come forward and stated that he refused to perform the same surgical procedure two weeks ago because of an existing medical condition that could have resulted in a heart attack. Dr. Aboolian’s publicist, Jo-Ann Geffen, says the surgeon told Dr. West that she needed to obtain medical clearance before he would be comfortable moving forward with the procedure. "He feels terrible because he said she was such a sweet lady," Geffen said. In response, Dr. Adams told TMZ that Aboolian was "manipulating the truth to elevate his own importance," but would not elaborate.
The West family has not commented on the cause of death, but Kanye released the following statement on Monday night (November 12):
"Kanye West, his family and friends would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support and kind words that have come in from across the country since the death of his mother, Dr. Donda West.
After working in higher education for 31 years, Dr. Donda West and Kanye West co-founded the Kanye West Foundation with the mission of helping to combat the severe dropout problem in high schools across the country.
The first and signature initiative of the Kanye West Foundation is Loop Dreams. Designed to capitalize on students existing interest in hip-hop, Loop Dreams challenges students to learn more about what's behind hip-hop culture in order to help them develop skills, express themselves creatively and be empowered.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Dr. West's name to the Kanye West Foundation/Loop Dreams Teacher Training Institute."
According to KOCO Channel 5, the West family has contacted the Howard-Harris Funeral Home in Oklahoma City to make funeral arrangements. Dr. West was raised in the city and graduated from Douglass High School in 1967.