Asthma Blamed in Death of Pregnant Woman Allegedly Ignored by EMTs

An ailing pregnant Brooklyn woman who was ignored by two EMTs on their coffee break likely died from an asthma attack, an autopsy revealed yesterday — sparking outrage from her family.

Although that tentative finding still leaves open the question of whether the EMTs could have saved 25-year-old coffee shop worker Eutisha Rennix — and her unborn baby — there was no doubt about the answer for Rennix's mom.

"They should have helped her," said Cynthia Rennix after the autopsy at the Medical Examiner's Office in Brooklyn. "She would have been here today.

"This should never happen to another family again, because my family is destroyed right now," said the heartbroken mom outside the ME's office, where she was accompanied by relatives, including her daughter's 3-year-old son. "It makes me very angry."

Cynthia said the EMTs, Jason Green and Melisa Jackson, "could have given her the care that she needed to help her."

The autopsy was attended by former city medical examiner Michael Baden, who observed the procedure for the family.

The family's lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, said: "Preliminarily, it appears the cause of death was simply an asthma."

"Had the asthma attack been addressed by the EMTs, would she have died? That's the question that has to be answered," Rubenstein said. "If there is criminal culpability, the EMTs should be held accountable."

City authorities have said that the emergency workers had a duty to check on Rennix.

Baden said an autopsy that was performed yesterday on Rennix's daughter showed the baby died as a result of oxygen deprivation. She was delivered some time after Rennix died.

Rennix collapsed Dec. 9 in a back room of the Au Bon Pain at MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn, where she worked. The coffee shop is a favorite of firefighters and emergency medical technicians who work upstairs at the FDNY's offices.

Shop workers said Green and Jackson blew off repeated pleas to check on Rennix themselves, saying, "We're on our break, so there's nothing we can do," as they waited for their orders of Asiago cheese bagels.

Jackson eventually called one of her fellow emergency dispatchers upstairs to notify them that a woman was having "difficulty breathing," but she and her boyfriend Green left with their bagels before an ambulance arrived — and without even looking at Rennix.

Rennix died hours later in a hospital, as did her baby.

Jackson and Green — who have been suspended by the Fire Department without pay — now are targets of a criminal investigation by the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office.

The EMTs' lawyer, Douglas Rosenthal, yesterday said, "It's premature to comment at this point."

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