Pictured: Nikita Jarvis on her 21st birthday, one week before she died
A pregnant mum-of-two was lying dead in her bed for hours as her four-year-old daughter tried to ‘wake’ her – just one week after her 21st birthday.
Nikita Jarvis was five weeks’ pregnant when she went to hospital near her home in Rockhampton, on Queensland’s mid-north coast, on the morning of October 23 because she was feeling sick.
It wasn’t the first time – she mysteriously stopped breathing in the emergency department in January and was placed in an induced coma, her sister Shakira Jarvis told Daily Mail Australia.
The young woman woke up with nerve damage in her leg and was in a wheelchair for a short time after that, but her sudden blackout left doctors stumped.
They also couldn’t work out what was wrong with her last Saturday, and sent her home with diazepam – a drug used to control anxiety, muscle spasms and insomnia, formerly known as Valium.
That afternoon, the single mum celebrated her father’s birthday with her children Valerie, four, and Michael, three, and her extended family by snacking on nibbles and watching Shrek, but the family left when Nikita grew tired at about 3pm.
Nikita is pictured with her young kids, Valerie (left, now age four) and Michael (now age three)
Shakira (pictured left with her sister) said Nikita was a ‘great mum’ who would do anything for her kids. She moved into a new family home with her two kids just weeks before she died
‘I sent her a message at 4:58pm letting her know I wouldn’t be able to take her and her son to the hairdressers that week because I had a lot of things on, and I never got a reply but didn’t think anything of it,’ Shakira said.
The following afternoon at about 2.20pm, their father sent Shakira a text asking if she’d heard from Nikita – she phoned twice but it went straight to voicemail.
When the kids’ father – who had just moved to Brisbane for work – said he hadn’t heard from her either, the 23-year-old felt sick with worry.
‘I got into the car with my 10-month-old son and went to check on her,’ she said.
‘When I arrived, I knocked for a while and my four-year-old niece asked “who is it?”
‘I told her it was Aunty Shak and asked if she could open the door, and she replied: “I can’t, Mummy’s sleeping and I can’t wake her”.’
Shakira – who had visited her sister almost every day in the weeks prior – entered panic mode and ran around the house to the back door, noticing that the kids were still wearing the clothes they’d worn for her father’s birthday, 24 hours ago.
Pictured: Valerie and Michael help Nikita open presents on her 21st birthday. She was pregnant with her third child at the time
Little Valerie (pictured with her mum and her brother Michael) tried to wake Nikita, not realising she was dead
Walking up to the bedroom, the mum-of-two could feel that something was wrong – ‘I could smell something was off,’ she added.
Shakira said the image of her younger sister’s lifeless body ‘with fluids leaking from her nose and face’ is burned into her mind.
‘Every time I close my eyes to go to sleep I picture the way I found her,’ she said.
She called an ambulance and cried as she waited outside with her baby, niece and nephew, before her father, brother, two best friends and mother-in-law arrived – ‘we were all in shock just screaming and crying, we were really distraught’.
The father of Nikita’s kids jumped in the car when he found out what happened and drove from Brisbane to Rockhampton – even though they were separated, they were thinking about getting back together before their third baby was born.
Paramedics said Nikita had been gone ‘for a fair few hours’, but couldn’t determine the cause of death.
When the father of Nikita’s kids found out what happened, he hopped straight in the car and drove from Brisbane to Rockhampton
Nikita and Shakira (pictured as teenagers) had a traumatic childhood and saw a lot of violence, but were best friends
The family are now relying on the autopsy results to find out what happened, but Shakira thinks her sister could have choked in her sleep but didn’t wake because of the diazepam.
‘Maybe she had an allergic reaction that has stopped her breathing, but it’s such a shock because she was freshly 21 ,’ the older sister said.
Shakira added that Nikita was very against drugs, didn’t smoke, didn’t like alcohol very much, and desperately wanted to get off the antidepressants she was prescribed.
To help with funeral costs and living expenses, the family set up a Go Fund Me campaign.
Shakira said she saw Nikita almost every day, and knew something was wrong when her father said he hadn’t heard from her
‘This situation has left our whole family traumatised and in shock, her death was so sudden and it has shaken us all,’ the fundraiser read.
‘We are so thankyou for donations from the public for the clothing, toys, vouchers, flowers and gift cards for the children.’
When asked about how Nikita will be remembered, Shakira described her as ‘funny with a big heart.’
‘She could turn anything into a joke and make you laugh, she had such a great personality, she also has the biggest heart and was just a very caring person and loved to give and see other people happy.’
Though Nikita found out she was pregnant with Valerie at 15, Shakira said she managed it well.
‘She was an incredible mother, she’s everything you’d want a mother to be and her kids loved her so much and she really loved them,’ she said.
‘They are just the best kids because they had a beautiful mum raising them well, and we were all so proud of her.’