Amber Rose Isaac and Bruce McIntyre III saw a promising future full of opportunities in the fall of 2019. McIntyre worked on Wall Street in New York, while Isaac was only a few credits away from completing her master’s degree. The highlight of the couple’s life together was the time they discovered they were expecting their first child.
However, the couple’s hopes were dashed when Isaac, 26, felt extremely weary and dizzy throughout the COVID-19 lockdown in New York City. Despite her persistent concerns, her doctor merely booked telemedicine visits.
The couple then decided to seek prenatal care from a midwife, who discovered that Isaac had an issue in her blood platelet level that necessitated immediate medical attention.
Unfortunately, Isaac died on April 20, 2020, during an unanticipated emergency cesarean section while giving birth to the couple’s son, Elias, leaving McIntyre a single parent.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black women are three times more likely than white women to die from a pregnancy-related cause. This gap is ascribed to a variety of causes, including “structural racism and implicit bias,” access to high-quality healthcare for Black women, underlying chronic diseases, and others.
McIntyre revealed in an exclusive interview with BET that the SaveARose Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to solving systemic flaws with maternal care, was created as a result of the “injustice” of how the healthcare system treated his wife, Isaac.
He is now campaigning to remove racial discrimination from the maternal care system. As a result of his advocacy, he has testified before Congress in Washington, D.C., with the assistance of Vice President Kamala Harris, who expressed her condolences following Isaac’s death.
McIntyre frequently speaks to medical students about the known systemic issue of racial bias in medicine, which has been reported by the American Medical Association.
He told BET, “I think the biggest accomplishment has been getting the statistics out concerning maternal mortality. So I think the advocacy work has been the biggest piece, making everyone aware, and of course, bringing equity to underserved areas, as well as bringing community collaborators together.”
He observed that, despite the fact that many people are aware of the issues, progress can appear to be stalled at times.
In terms of outcomes, McIntyre stated that he spoke with Mayor Eric Adams about financing doulas and has tried to develop a doulas program in New York City. He also stated that the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, which Representative Lauren Underwood is working to enact in Congress, is the organization’s largest piece of legislation.
McIntyre has advised other potential supporting fathers to keep an eye out and pay attention to the language used and how they are spoken to. He also recommended males to argue on their partner’s behalf and ensure that she is heard.
Furthermore, if their doctor does not return their call, they should wait in front of the office for as long as it takes to be seen. Many problems are frequently disregarded, and their underlying causes are seldom addressed.
According to McIntyre, Black women in America must seek a second or third opinion and consult with a midwife and a doula.