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Krystal “Krissy” Anderson, a former Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader and yoga instructor, passed away at the age of 40. Her death was confirmed by the official Chiefs Cheer Instagram account, and an obituary shared that she died unexpectedly shortly after the birth of her daughter, Charlotte Willow Anderson. Anderson cheered for the Chiefs from 2006 to 2011 and again from 2013 to 2016, attending over 100 games and representing the team at events such as the Pro Bowl and visiting troops around the world.

The Chiefs Cheer statement described Anderson as loved and adored by her teammates, fans, and strangers alike. Even after her time as a cheerleader, she continued to share her love of dance and the Chiefs Cheer by serving in an alumni role at game days, practices, and events. Tavia Hunt, the wife of Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt, expressed her condolences, calling Anderson’s passing a profound loss for the team and organization. Anderson was also a software engineer who made significant contributions to healthcare, including developing software that assesses the risk of post-partum hemorrhage.

Anderson is survived by her husband, Clayton Anderson, whom she married in 2021, her parents, Bertha and Burnette Johnson, her brother, Corey Johnson, and several other family members. Her obituary also mentioned that she was preceded in death by her infant son, James Charles. In an interview with Kansas City Fox affiliate WDAF, Clayton Anderson revealed that his wife developed sepsis after their daughter was stillborn, leading to organ failure and multiple surgeries. Sepsis is a serious medical condition where the body responds improperly to an infection, potentially leading to organ damage and death.

Black maternal mortality rates in the United States have been disproportionately high, with Black women nearly three times more likely to die during childbirth than white women. Dr. Jessica Shepherd, an OB-GYN, highlighted the need for fundamental changes in healthcare systems to address this disparity, including increased insurance coverage, access to resources, and more representation of Black doctors. Dr. Chavone Momon-Nelson emphasized the importance of diversity in healthcare, as studies show that patients treated by doctors who look like them have better outcomes. Black physicians currently make up a small percentage of the healthcare workforce, making it essential to increase representation.

The tragic loss of Krystal Anderson has brought attention to issues surrounding maternal mortality, healthcare disparities, and the need for increased diversity in the medical field. Her work as a cheerleader, yoga instructor, software engineer, and advocate for healthcare improvements has left a lasting impact on those who knew her. The Chiefs Cheer community, along with her family and loved ones, will continue to honor her legacy as they mourn her passing.

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