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Community rallies around father and newborn after tragic death of mother during childbirth

The Western New York community is supporting the family with donations after the sudden tragedy.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Western New York community is rallying around a newborn baby girl and her father.

Justin Waclawek of North Buffalo and his newborn baby Ada just lost the most important woman in their lives. Justin's wife and Ada's mother, Ali Waclawek, died last Friday during childbirth.   

Waclawek tells 2 On Your Side Ali had a very rare pregnancy complication called an amniotic fluid embolism. 

It's essentially an allergic-like reaction to amniotic fluid getting into the bloodstream. It prevents the blood from clotting anywhere in the body, leading to cardiac arrest. 

According to the Amniotic Fluid Embolism Foundation, AFE is "unpreventable, unpredictable and often fatal." 

Family and friends set up a GoFundMe page to help Justin with medical expenses, funeral costs and childcare needs.  So far, over a thousand people have donated nearly $80,000.

Waclawek says baby Ada is doing fine. He spoke very highly of his wife, about her career and her commitment to helping others. He said Ali was a vivacious, brilliant, and absolutely stunning young woman and was excited about becoming a mother. 

He also spoke highly of the doctors and nurses who cared for his two girls.  

His family offered this statement about all of the support they've received: 

“On behalf of the Carey and Waclawek family, we are absolutely overwhelmed by your generosity and so filled with gratitude in knowing that we have such an incredible network of support. Any funds donated above and beyond Ada’s needs with be donated to the NICU of Oishei Children’s Hospital of Buffalo.”

Last year, 2 On Your Side and our parent company Tegna featured stories about the serious issue of mothers dying in childbirth.  You can watch the series below.