Triplets thrive months after mum dies in childbirth

Martin Magaoa with the triplets and son Tanner Magaoa, 6. Photo / Jo-Photography
Martin Magaoa with the triplets and son Tanner Magaoa, 6. Photo / Jo-Photography

MARTIN Magaoa is doing the best he can to bring up three little boys his wife so desperately wanted but will never get to see grow up.

The young dad lost his wife, Chervonne Magaoa, shortly after giving birth to their triplet sons Aayden, Blaise and Carson, in late August.

The 34-year-old, who was born in New Zealand but raised mostly in Hawaii, where the family now lives, died after suffering an amniotic fluid embolism.

The condition happens when amniotic fluid - which surrounds a baby in the uterus during pregnancy and contains products such as cells, hair, urine and secretions from the babies - enters the mother's bloodstream.

Chervonne Magaoa and her husband Martin Magaoa as well as their old son Tanner, 6. Chervonne, 34, died while giving birth to triplets in Hawaii, August 2017. Photo / Jo-Photography
Chervonne Magaoa and her husband Martin Magaoa as well as their old son Tanner, 6. Chervonne, 34, died while giving birth to triplets in Hawaii, August 2017. Photo / Jo-Photography


It can cause serious reactions such as heart failure and uncontrollable bleeding. It is regarded as a rare event that kills about two mothers in New Zealand each year.

Speaking to the NZ Herald for the first time since his wife's death, Martin Magaoa said family and friends had been rallying around him to help take care of the babies.

The daily chores and the boys' schedule kept them very busy, but there were always times when thoughts inevitably went back to the woman he had spent the past 10 years of his life with.

"Everything's still kind of fresh. There are days where, you know," he says, before his voice drops out.

The couple's eldest son Tanner, 6, had provided a lot of comfort and strength for him, he said. But like all children, Tanner still asks after his mother.

"He's holding up pretty strong. Once in a while he'll ask: 'Where's mommy at?'

"I take him up to her grave and he knows. He doesn't really cry - there's been only once where he's really cried for his mom.

"He understands a little bit that she's not going to be around. He says: 'Mommy's in heaven'. That much he knows. He's stronger [than I am]. I say: 'Okay, that's good. You be strong for the both of us'.''

Since the triplets' birth, up to 50 volunteers have signed up to help care for the boys each day; with groups of people coming to the family home on rostered shifts starting from 6am and the last one at 10pm.

Chervonne's father, Bishop Hyran Smith, said most of the volunteers were from members of their church congregation, the local Maori community and extended family and friends.

"They are all grandmothers and mothers and when they come in, we have them scrub up, feed the babies, change diapers, swaddle them up and put them down.

"The last one is a little hard to get them to do because they all want to hold and cuddle them."

A log is also filled out for each of the boys - the time they eat, how much they weigh, when they sleep and other details.

"The wider community has been great too, with random packages arriving in the mail or personally delivered from New Zealand and elsewhere," Smith said.

Gifts had included taonga for each of the boys, All Blacks jumpsuits and toys.

Despite losing their loved one, the family maintains they feel "truly blessed'' by the love and support they have received.

Magaoa said: "The babies are healthy and they're growing. They're happy, so we're happy. We can't complain."

There is a sense of real pride as he speaks of his boys, even when the topic is nappies.

"Every day is just the regular feeding, changing diapers. It's not different from any other baby. The only difference is there's three so it's just a little more work,'' he laughs.

Since September, scores of people from around New Zealand, Hawaii and around the world reached out to help the family; raising more than $US70,000 ($AUS87,880) through a GoFund page set up for the boys.

Magaoa said the words "thank you" did not do enough to express the family's gratitude to the public.

"It makes a big difference knowing that there are people out there who care and are willing to help and are reaching out. It really means a lot."

This story was originally published on the NZ Herald and is republished with permission.

Topics:  childbirth death editors picks new zealand triplets

News Corp Australia

Appeal over CQ miner's 'repugnant' dog sex act dismissed

Darren Lee Jolley performed sexualised acts with a puppy.

Blackwater man 'violated long-standing taboo'

Looking to get away? Win $1000 for your dream trip

How does a $1000 gift card from Flight Centre sound?

Agnes surfers' taste of swell today short-lived

Amelia McKay enjoying a surf at Agnes Water.

The swell finally arrived, but it won't be here for long.

Local Partners

To the stranger who Photoshopped my picture

MIRANDA agreed to have her photo taken with her mum in a jewellery store. When she logged onto Instagram the next day, she couldn’t believe her eyes.

Don't delay: this test could save your life

LIFE-SAVING: Rob Patch is on a mission to convince people to have their sleep apnoea checked in order to prevent an early death.

"The doctors said I had come there to die.”

Cricket's Merv Hughes can’t stomach drink and drug-drivers

AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 26: Merv Hughes of Australia prepares to bowl on December 26, 1990 in Australia. (Photo by Getty Images)

former Australian cricketer’s first car was an HT Holden wagon.

Russia’s seedy ‘virginity trade’

On Russian social media, young girls and women are being recruited to sell their virginity to wealthy men. Picture: The Sun

Girls as young as 17 sell their virginity

Cancer teen married two days before death

19-year-old cancer patient Lydia Dominguez married her boyfriend Joshua Ordonez just two days before she died.

Teen with cancer dies after getting married two days earlier

Dad’s shock: ‘I was told I was a paedophile’

Karl Pollard was taking his daughter Stephanie to visit her sick grandmother. Picture: SWNS/Mega

Hotel apologises after wrongly accusing innocent dad of paedophilia