'More than a village': A Laie dad faces the prospect of raising newborn triplets alone

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The husband of a Laie woman who died after giving birth to triplets says he never thought he would be bringing the babies home without their mother.

On Thursday, Chervonne Magaoa had just delivered her triplets a week early by emergency C-section.

Her husband says joy quickly turned to fear when she suddenly went unconscious.

"The first thing I heard was, 'Wake up, Chervonne! Wake up!' I just knew something's not right. Something terrible is happening," said Martin Magaoa.

Martin says his wife suffered an amniotic fluid embolism, a rare but dangerous complication that occurs when amniotic fluid -- the liquid that surrounds the baby during pregnancy -- enters the mother's bloodstream.

He says the Kapiolani medical team did all they could, but his wife never gained consciousness and died several hours later after her sons were born.

Martin recalled a private moment they shared before the delivery and the last thing he said to her.

"I said, 'Everything is going to be OK. This is the day we've been waiting for.'"

The family says the 34-year old Kahuku grad was a strong woman and loving mother who put others first. After having their first son, 6-year-old Tanner, Martin says the couple struggled to have a second child for several years. But they finally got pregnant through in vitro fertilization.

"She was so excited for the babies to come out. She couldn't wait. That's all she ever talked about," Martin said.

The triplets -- Aayden, Blaise, and Carson -- are still being monitored at the hospital.

A room in the family home in Laie is ready for their arrival.

"Just looking at them brings me joy. It chases away the gloom that I might otherwise feel," said Hyran Smith, Chervonne's father.

As the family prepares for the daunting task of raising the boys without their mother, they say they are already receiving tremendous support from their church and community.

"The generosity that people are providing for the family ... it's amazing. And I'm truly grateful for the help. Any help," said Martin.

"They say it takes a village to raise a child, but we need more than a village," Smith said.

Memorial services for Chervonne Magaoa will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Laie.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family.

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