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Krystal Anderson, a former cheerleader for the Kansas City Chiefs, tragically passed away at the age of 40 due to sepsis following a stillbirth. She was hospitalized at five months pregnant and delivered her daughter, Charlotte Willow, after doctors were unable to locate a heartbeat. Anderson developed a fever following the birth, which led to sepsis and ultimately organ failure. Despite being placed on life support and undergoing multiple surgeries, she unfortunately died early Wednesday morning. Her husband, Clayton Anderson, expressed his grief and feelings of emptiness at her passing.

Known as “Krissy” to her friends, Anderson was remembered as a magical person with a radiant smile that could light up any room. A GoFundMe page was set up in her name to cover medical costs, funeral expenses, and to establish a legacy fund, which had raised over $67,000 as of Tuesday afternoon. The Chiefs cheerleading squad expressed their deep sorrow over Anderson’s death, recognizing her contributions to the team for over 100 games from 2006 to 2016. They praised her impact on teammates, fans, and the community, and announced plans to honor her legacy in the future.

In her post-NFL career, Anderson worked as a software engineer at Oracle Health and taught yoga, while also advocating for Black women in STEM fields and women’s health. She was involved in philanthropic endeavors with organizations such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters of KC and Gabriella’s Little Library. Her husband emphasized her positive impact on everyone she met, describing her as a force for good who had a bright presence wherever she went.

While maternal deaths in the U.S. have been on the rise, Black women are disproportionately affected, being two to three times more likely to die in childbirth compared to white women. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that Black mothers face higher risks of complications like preeclampsia and postpartum hemorrhage, exacerbated by implicit bias and medical racism. Clayton Anderson highlighted the urgent need for change in the healthcare system to address disparities in maternal health outcomes among Black women.

Anderson’s passing has sparked conversations about the challenges faced by Black pregnant women in the U.S. healthcare system and the need for reform to ensure equitable and quality care for all mothers. Her legacy as a beloved cheerleader, advocate, and philanthropist continues to inspire those who knew her, with plans in place to further honor her memory. The outpouring of support through the GoFundMe page reflects the impact she had on her community and the lasting imprint she left on those around her.

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