Mother Of Kanye May Have Died From Surgery Complications

Tuesday, November 13th 2007, 7:06 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ An autopsy was scheduled for the mother of Kanye West after preliminary information suggested she died of surgical complications, a coroner's investigator said Monday.

What kind of surgery Donda West had was not immediately clear. West had approached a plastic surgeon months ago about a procedure, but he never performed it because she did not return with a medical clearance for a pre-existing condition that concerned him, the surgeon's publicist said Monday.

West died Saturday night at age 58 at Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center in Marina del Rey, where paramedics took her after she stopped breathing at her home, according to Deborah Ettinger, a hospital vice president.

``We tried to resuscitate her, but were unsuccessful,'' Ettinger said, adding that she did not have surgery at the hospital.

Preliminary information indicated she died from ``complications of surgery,'' Lt. Fred Corral told The Associated Press. An autopsy was expected to be conducted by Wednesday, Corral said.

The Kanye West Foundation referred calls to a publicist who did not immediately respond to messages for comment.

Patricia Green, a consultant who has worked as a publicist for West in the past, had previously told news agencies that West died after cosmetic surgery. She backed away from those comments in later interviews with the AP, saying she was not sure of the cause because she had received conflicting information.

West met with Dr. Andre Aboolian of Beverly Hills to inquire about cosmetic surgery in June, said the surgeon's publicist, Jo-Ann Geffen. Aboolian told West two weeks ago that she needed to get a medical clearance before he would agree to do the surgery, but never heard back from her, Geffen said.

Aboolian was concerned about a condition West had that may cause a heart attack during surgery, said Geffen, declining to elaborate because of patient privacy rights.

``He simply said that in order for him to be comfortable, he felt it necessary to have a medical clearance before he'd touch her,'' Geffen said.

Geffen said she didn't know if West had cosmetic surgery elsewhere.

``He feels terrible because he said she was such a sweet lady,'' Geffen said.

West was known for the strong bond she shared with her hip-hop star son. She was often seen by his side at parties and award shows. Kanye West often spoke of his close relationship with his mother, who raised him alone after her husband left when Kanye was 3.

The former chairwoman of Chicago State University's English department, Donda West served as chief executive of West Brands LLC, the parent company of her son's business enterprises. She also was chairwoman of the Kanye West Foundation, an educational nonprofit that works to decrease dropout rates and improve literacy.