Pregnant Woman Told Husband She Was Fine. When He Arrived at the Hospital, She Was Dead (Exclusive)

Pregnant Woman Told Husband She Was Fine. When He Arrived at the Hospital, She Was Dead (Exclusive)

Matthew Quinones tells PEOPLE their daughter Mia, whom doctors were able to save, will grow up knowing “how much her mom wanted her”

When Melissa Demiranda was nearly 8 months pregnant, she woke up in the night gasping for air. Her OBGYN told the mom-to-be that it was normal to have difficulty breathing and trouble sleeping while pregnant, but referred her to a cardiologist.

On April 10, Demiranda, 34, visited a heart doctor, then called her husband and told him she was fine, but that he should meet her at the hospital. Tragically, she died in the ambulance, but doctors were able to save their daughter Mia’s life.

Although Mia never got a chance to meet her mom, Matthew Quinones, 35, tells PEOPLE their daughter will grow up knowing “how much her mom wanted her.”

Quinones met Demiranda in music class their freshman year of high school — and their first date was way back in January 2005.

“She was amazing,” says Quinones. “She had such a huge heart.”

Matt Quinones


Demiranda, who worked from their New Jersey home as an insurance company supervisor, always wanted to be a mom, he adds. But her path to motherhood was complicated, and before she got pregnant with their daughter, she experienced two painful miscarriages.

In December, when the couple learned they had conceived via IVF, they were overjoyed.

The parents-to-be made Christmas ornaments to announce the good news and Demiranda dove into baby preparations, from researching the best diapers to selecting the toasted marshmallow paint she wanted for her rainbow baby’s nursery.

“That’s all she ever wanted,” her husband says. “She was all in.”

Matt Quinones

From left: Matthew Quinones and Melissa Demiranda.MATT QUINONES

As her pregnancy progressed, Quinones said Demiranda felt really tired, but at first, “everything seemed fine.”

Then her blood pressure increased, so she was put in medication — and in April, she began having trouble breathing at night.

“She would wake up at night gasping for breath. She would have to sleep on the couch, sitting up for the most part,” her husband recalls. “Every night, I would be like, ‘Melissa, we should definitely go to the hospital if you’re having this much trouble.’ And she kept saying, ‘No.’ “

On April 10, the couple planned to celebrate their three-year anniversary with dinner before coming home to share a dance to their wedding song, Safety Suit’s “Never Stop,” in their kitchen.

But that morning, Demiranda had an appointment with the cardiologist. Afterwards, she told her husband she was being rushed to the hospital.

“She said, ‘They just have some concerns,’ ” he remembers, noting that she didn’t seem concerned. “She’s like, ‘But I’m completely fine.’ ”

Matt Quinones

From left: Melissa Demiranda and Matthew Quinones.MATT QUINONES

Outside the emergency room, Quinones waited for his wife. “I expected to see her walk out of an ambulance and I would walk in with her,” he says.

Instead, as the ambulance pulled up, he saw a group of doctors surround the vehicle. Then, he saw a woman carried off with her arm hanging limp.

“I thought, ‘That person looks like they’re gone already,’ ” he says. “I convinced myself, ‘That’s definitely not my wife. I just spoke to her.’ “

But inside the hospital, he was taken to a small room with a chaplain. “They told me that my wife hasn’t had a pulse in a long time and that my baby had no pulse,” he recalls being told.

Although hospital staff weren’t able to save his wife — Quinones says they still don’t know her official cause of death and are awaiting an autopsy — doctors were able to resuscitate and deliver their child, daughter Mia, who was born at 31 weeks old, weighing only 2 lbs. and 15.6 oz.

“She’s a fighter,” he says of their daughter.

Matt Quinones

Melissa Demiranda.MATT QUINONES

Mia is still in the hospital, where she will likely be for another few weeks. In the meantime, a GoFundMe fundraiser has been established to help the dad and daughter.

As for the future, Quinones says his mother and his wife’s sister will help him raise baby Mia.

“I’ll never be on my own,” he says. “It’s ridiculous on both sides how much love there is and how much help I have.”

“I have great hopes for her,” he adds of his daughter. “I hope she can come home soon and we can really start this journey of healing together — and I don’t believe that really begins until she comes home.”

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