After less than a month away at college, a 19-year-old from Sacramento died in her dorm room – alone.
Her death, likely came three days after giving birth to a stillborn baby.
Ayaanah Gibson really wanted to attend an HBCU (a historically black college or university) and she found her dream campus in Benedict College.
Her family can’t believe that that dream has turned into a nightmare.
“She wanted everybody to be happy. She’d always say, ‘why can’t everybody be happy like me,’” said Katie Draughn, Gibson’s grandmother.
In pictures on her Facebook page, anyone can see Gibson’s happiness and spunk – and that’s exactly how her family will remember her.
Last month, the 19-year-old’s pursuit of happiness sent her to South Carolina’s Benedict College for the start of her freshman year.
Tuesday night in Columbia that pursuit came to an end.
The Richland County coroner has confirmed that Gibson bled to death in her dorm room after delivering a stillborn baby alone in her room.
She didn’t have a roommate.
Gibson’s mother was in shock and trembling as she contemplated all she’s lost.
“She was ready to go off and start her life, “said Sybil Gibson.
According to the coroner, Gibson was about eight months pregnant and that labor appeared to have started naturally.
When asked if she knew if her daughter was pregnant, Sybil Gibson said, “no and she didn’t either.”
Gibson’s mother says that’s because of a medical condition South Carolina doctors have revealed to the family since her daughter’s passing. It’s a condition the family wants to keep private.
Gibson was a young woman who had persevered through a lot.
“Cancer survivor … ‘I can do this, can I grandma.’ She and I were diagnosed the same year, celebrated five years together,” said Draughn.
With her brain cancer in remission for five years, Gibson was ready to soar into her future – just changing her major from chemistry to communications.
“She was a good person and she would have been a good mom ‘cause she was a good person, a caring person,” said her mother.
Gibson’s school has issued a statement saying, “The Benedict College family is deeply saddened this evening about the unexpected loss of one of its students. Please join the Benedict College family in praying for our fallen Tiger and her family.”
The Richland County coroner says it is likely Gibson would have survived if she’d sought medical help after the birth.
There seem to be no answers, only lingering questions about why that didn’t happen.