Erica Garner, the daughter of Eric Garner, who died in 2014 after an NYPD officer put him in a chokehold, is in a coma at a hospital in Brooklyn after suffering a heart attack on Saturday. As of Thursday morning, Erica remained on life support.
Garner, 27, is an activist and writer. Her bio on her website states that she has “taken it upon herself to carry on her father’s legacy by fighting for the rights of others.” It goes on to say that she hopes to find justice for those facing inequality in the legal system at the local, state, and national levels.
Here’s what we know about Erica’s medical status:
1. She Has Been in a Coma Since Saturday
On Saturday, Erica suffered a heart attack. She has been in a coma ever since.
Speaking to the LA Times on Thursday, Erica’s mother, Esaw Snipes, said, “She’s not gone; she’s brain dead. Physically she is still with us.”
Some Twitter users are under the impression Erica has died, but as of Thursday afternoon, that was not the case. On Thursday at 1:30pm ET, activist Brittany Packnett wrote, “It bears repeating: Erica is not physically dead. Her *family* is insistent upon this distinction.”
The New York Daily News titled their piece on Erica, “Eric Garner’s daughter Erica declared brain dead with no chance of recovery after massive heart attack.”
In response, the person running Erica’s twitter account (it is unclear at this time if the person is a family member or friend) wrote, “I know that the @NYDailyNews didn’t get their information from anyone that heard it straight from a doctors mouth because only one person was in the room when the results were read. That person was me. I called each family member. So they are reporting 3 person hearsay.”
2. Family Members Have Reportedly Been Called to the Hospital to Say Final Goodbyes
The LA Times reports that Erica’s family members were called to the hospital on Thursday morning to say their goodbyes.
A recent Tweet on Erica’s official Twitter page said the family is not looking for donations at this time. “Please no donations to go fund me or any where else for the time being. Your financial support is appreciated but not needed at this exact moment. Please do not give money at this moment.”
Erica has four siblings: Shardinee, Emerald, Eric Jr. and Emery. As of December 28, Indiegogo fund for the children Eric Garner had raised $44,567.
3. An Asthma Attack Caused the Heart Attack
NBC reports Erica’s mother as saying that the heart attack was brought on by an asthma attack.
Eric, Erica’s father, also suffered from asthma. In August, the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that the chokehold Garner was put in caused his death, but that asthma and heart disease were contributing factors. The chokehold Eric was put in by then officer Daniel Pantaleo lasted anywhere from 15 to 19 seconds. When the officer removed his arms, Garner said “I can’t breath” a number of times before losing consciousness. He was pronounced dead at the hospital about one hour later.
In December 2014, the Richmond County grand jury made the decision not to indict Pantaleo.
In 2015, Erica founded the Garner Way Foundation to honor her father. In a statement to News One about its goals and purpose, Erica said, “With this foundation I will fight to engage communities all over the world in this struggle through, political awareness, music, arts and community activism.”
4. This Not Her First Heart Attack
Speaking to NBC New York on Tuesday, Snipes said that this is not the first heart attack Erica has suffered from. She had her first heart attack after giving birth to her son in August. ” Doctors said Erica Garner’s pregnancy had put a strain on her heart, which was later found to be enlarged,” NBC News reports.
Erica is currently at Brooklyn’s Woodhull Hospital.
On Tuesday, Bernie Sanders (whom Erica endorsed as President) took to Twitter with a statement about Erica. “My thoughts are with Erica Garner, her family and friends in hoping that she has a full recovery and rejoins the struggle for justice as soon as possible. I have had the privilege of joining with her at a number of events and was deeply impressed with her courage and insights.”
5. She Has Two Chlidren
Erica is the mother of two children. Her youngest son was born in August of this year.
Thousands of people have reacted to Erica’s medical situation on Twitter. One user wrote, “erica garner and her family have already been through so much, this is so tragic.” Film and TV contributor ReBecca Theodore-Vachon wrote, “So very sad about Erica Garner, but infuriating to see callous tweets from folks reducing her to only her advocacy and social justice work…”
Author Joy Reid wrote, “Ugh. Tragedy compounds tragedy. The family of Eric Garner has suffered so much. Please spare a thought for them this difficult morning.”