SACRAMENTO, CA - A Sacramento teen died alone after giving birth to a stillborn baby in her South Carolina dorm room.
Ayaanah Gibson, 19, graduated from Sacramento Charter High School in May. She left for Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina, three weeks ago, majoring in chemistry.
Gibson had a bright future ahead of her. She was a brain cancer survivor and wasn't a stranger to overcoming odds.
"She was the best granddaughter a grandmother could have," Grandma Katie Draughn said. "Bubbly. We called her 'Yanni.' "
The Richland County Coroner's Office said Gibson bled to death after delivering a stillborn baby alone in her dorm room. According to the coroner, Gibson was 8 months pregnant. She had a natural childbirth sometime Saturday or early Sunday morning.
Gibson's body wasn't discovered until Tuesday.
Her family said they didn't know she was pregnant.
"She didn't even know," family friend Deborah Bryant said. "She didn't have no symptoms, and she wasn't a child that hides stuff either."
Officials said there were no signs of foul play. The coroner said Gibson would have survived if she had requested medical help after the delivery.
"She was a good girl," Bryant added. "She loved school and she loved college; going away."
Her grandmother said she also loved volunteering at church.
"She liked that because it gave her a chance to be around little kids, which was one of her passions," Draughn explained.
Her family is left with more questions than answers about the last few months of her life.
"Now, she has gone to glory land," Bryant said. "Her and her child."
The superintendent for St. Hope Public Schools said they are doing what they can for Gibson's family. They've also made grief counselors available for students.
On Thursday night, officials from Benedict College held a prayer in the school chapel for Gibson.
Gannett News Service