LOS ANGELES – An autopsy was performed on Kanye West’s mother to determine how and why she suddenly died suddenly this week. The Los Angeles coroner says Donda West, 58, may have died from “complications of surgery.”
West died Saturday night at Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center in Marina Del Rey after she stopped breathing at her home. She was taken to the hospital by paramedics. Hospital personnel tried to resuscitate her, but were unsuccessful.
Dr. Jan Adams, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon told celebrity Web site TMZ that he performed a tummy tuck and breast reduction on Donda West, but that she might have died from a heart attack, pulmonary embolism, or massive vomiting. Adams said West consulted with him over a period of four months, often changing her mind about the surgery.
West, who managed her Grammy Award-winning son’s career, was known for the strong bond she shared with her son and was often by his side at parties and award shows. The rapper, 30, 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. West left CSU in 2004 and moved to Los Angeles to manage her son’s career full time.
Kanye West was in London at the time of his mother’s death and rushed back to Los Angeles. The rapper has been unavailable, but a publicist released a statement to the press on behalf of the family, “Kanye West, his family and friends would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support and kind words that have come in from across the country since the death of his mother.”
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Dr. West’s name to the Kanye West Foundation/Loop Dreams Teacher Training Institute. Those donations can be made by visiting the Foundation’s website, www.KanyeWestFoundation.org or by mail at Kanye West Foundation, 8560 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069.
Details of funeral services were still pending at press time.