Prince’s Ex-Wife Mayte Garcia Speaks Out About the Loss of Their 6-Day-Old Son
This chapter from Garcia’s relationship with Prince is documented in her forthcoming memoir, The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince, which will release on April 4, 2017. In the book, she recalls being 22 when she found out she was pregnant with their son. The pregnancy was smooth until she bled one day, at which point, the doctor recommended an amniocentesis to test for genetic abnormalities. This procedure came with the risk of a miscarriage, warned the doctor. Prince argued against running the tests and they instead went home and prayed for the baby’s health.
In later tests, Garcia’s obstetrician noticed that the baby’s ultrasound measurements were off and that he might be affected by dwarfism.
“My husband and I looked at each other and shrugged. ‘And?’ he said. ‘I’m totally fine with that.’ I laughed. Of all the possible outcomes that had been offered to us, this was the first one that didn’t terrify me,” Garcia writes in her memoir.
Prince continued to refuse running medical tests until Garcia gave birth to their son via c-section on Oct. 16, 1996.
“I don’t know how to describe the look on my husband’s face. Pure joy,” she begins. “And then they held the baby up to those harsh lights. The elation on my husband’s face turned to pure terror.”
The baby had Pfeiffer syndrome type 2, which is a genetic disorder that causes skeletal and systematic abnormalities.
“The premature fusing of the bones in the skull, sometimes resulting in ‘cloverleaf skull,’ in which the eyes are outside the sockets,” Garcia explains. “The fusion of bones in the hands and feet causing a webbed or pawlike appearance … I learned all of this later.”
The baby, who Garcia and Prince named Amir — Arabic for “prince” — was not crying as the nurses tried to save his life.
“He was curled on his side, gasping shallow little gulps of air. Because there were no lids to blink, his eyes looked startled and dry,” writes Garcia. “I caught hold of his tiny hand, saying over and over, ‘Mama loves you, Mama’s here.’”
Amir underwent several procedures and the doctor recommended a tracheotomy, but Garcia understood what was happening.
“After six days he was struggling to breathe,” writes Garcia. “And I said to the doctor, ‘He’s not leaving here, is he?’”
Their son died six days later.
“I don’t think [Prince] ever got over it,” Garcia, now 43, tells People of her late ex-husband. “I don’t know how anybody can get over it. I know I haven’t.”
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