COLUMBIA, SC — A 19-year-old Benedict College student bled to death in her dormitory room after delivering a 30-32 week old stillborn fetus.
“Had she had medical attention of any kind, she would have lived,” Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said Thursday.
Benedict, in downtown Columbia, is within a mile and half of three of South Carolina’s largest hospitals – Providence, Palmetto Baptist and Palmetto Richland.
“She was approximately 30-32 weeks pregnant, and it appears she bled out because of the delivery.”
Watts said the student was from California and that the delivery appeared to a natural, or unforced, occurrence, Watts said.
“There is no sign of any kind of intentional delivery or anything like that,” he said. “It appears to be some kind of spontaneous delivery.”
Watts ruled out any possibility of foul play. The woman lived in a single-person dorm room, he said. Her body was discovered Tuesday night.
Watts said it was difficult to tell how long the woman had before she fell unconscious.
“It is a tragedy,” Watts said.
The woman’s body was discovered late Tuesday night.
The Baptist-affiliated Benedict College, founded in 1870, is a historically black college and has about 3,200 students.
Earlier in the week, college officials released this statement:
“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. President David H. Swinton along with the Campus Minister, Student Government Leaders, and the Director of Campus Counseling spoke with students this evening in Antisdel Chapel about the unfortunate incident.”
Reach Monk at (803) 771-8344.