Charles Johnson IV was hit with tragedy last year when his wife, Kira, suddenly lost her life hours after giving birth to their second child. Last April, the couple went into the hospital for one of the happiest days of their lives, only to be followed by one of the worst days Charles would ever face.
Their son, Langston, was born perfectly healthy, the younger sibling to 19-month-old Charles V. But soon after the birth, complications from Kira’s C-section began to arise. After discovering blood in her catheter and clearly not feeling well, doctors sent Kira into surgery and discovered massive internal bleeding from the botched C-section. Within hours, she was dead.
Today, 16 months later, Johnson is raising his two sons as a single dad — but no in the traditional sense. He’s getting a lot of help from his mother, TV Judge Glenda Hatchett, who took the family in after Kira’s death. Johnson moved his family from L.A. to Atlanta in order to get the support he needed from family after his wife passed away.
The commitment to family is refreshing and a reminder of how much people benefit from that support in times of need. Not only that, the tragic event encouraged Johnson and his mom to begin spreading awareness about the risks of maternal death in the United States through legislation to increase study of such tragedies. Though the numbers are far lower here than in many places around the world, they’ve still doubled since 1990 — something they find unacceptable.
Since losing his wife, Johnson said he has one goal in mind each day: “Wake up, make mommy proud, repeat.”