How did Kanye West’s mom Donda die?
This Saturday, Kanye West took to Twitter to revisit the troubling circumstances surrounding the 2007 death of his mom, Donda West. The 57-year-old woman passed away while receiving post-operative care at home after a 5 1/2 hour plastic surgery procedure that included liposuction, tummy tuck, and breast reduction.
The always-provocative Kanye posted a photo of the doctor who performed the surgery, Dr. Jan Adams, stating that the image will be his next album cover. This inspired a response from the surgeon, who has been cleared of any wrongdoing, and again opened up questions about how Kanye West’s mom Donda West died.
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 28, 2018
“This is my album cover. This is plastic surgeon Jan Adams. The person who performed my moms final surgery. Do you have any title ideas?” Kanye texted someone named “Wes” in the screenshots he shared on social media.
“I want to forgive and stop hating,” Kanye added. One person responded with an amazing suggestion for an album title: “LOVE EVERYONE.”
The very public post inspired Dr. Jan Adams himself to pen a lengthy and thoughtful letter for Kanye, explaining how tired the surgeon is of being blamed for Kanye West’s mom Donda’s death when there were so many other factors at play. He asked very politely for Kanye to not use his image as an album cover, or to promote anything at all. Kanye thanked him for connecting.
What does the surgeon have to say?
In a statement published by The Blast, Dr. Adams thanked Kanye for considering him for the cover of his album. “Unfortunately,” he wrote, “I have to decline at this time, and I ask that you cease and desist using my photo or any image of me to promote your album or any of your work.
“I don’t want to seem ungrateful,” Dr. Adams continued. “I just think that if in fact this conversion to love is genuine on your part…then it’s inappropriate to drag the negativity of the past with it.”
Dr. Adams asked Kanye to consider the facts and truth about the situation, and brought up that Kanye’s cousin, Stephan Scoggins, was Donda’s nurse while she received aftercare at home.
“So if your journey is true…’To forgive and stop hating’…start by dealing with the facts,” Adams wrote. “Perhaps you should put your cousin’s picture on your next album. Don’t put my picture out there and claim you are about love.”
“If you want to heal, first call out the people in your own camp who knew better and persisted with the charade in order to hide their own guilt,” Adams wrote to Kanye. “You are a father and a family man. Take the time to cherish those things… you won’t regret it. Everyone can get past this but you have to be intellectually honest.”
So…what are the facts?
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office listed Donda West’s cause of death as heart disease and added that she had “multiple post-operative factors” after plastic surgery. However, the autopsy did not find a connection between Donda’s plastic surgery procedures and her death.
According to the report, Donda had been advised to seek post-operative care at another medical facility; she instead chose to be cared for at home with the help of her nephew Stephan Scoggins. (Eventually, Stephan would also be cleared of wrongdoing.)
While at home, Donda experienced a sore throat and pain and tightening in her chest before she collapsed. She was rushed to the emergency room, where she was pronounced dead.
Dr. Adams has spoken out about Donda’s death before. In 2015, he told Inside Edition that his notes revealed Donda’s at-home caregivers gave her “twenty Vicodin tabs in less than twenty hours.”
He also said that Scoggins left Donda unattended to go to a baby shower. “What’s Donda West’s problem? Her nurse wasn’t there,” Dr. Adams said. “Her nurse was gone to a baby shower rather than taking care of his aunt.”
What was Kanye’s response to Dr. Adams’ letter?
Kanye seems thrilled by Dr. Jan Adams’ communication regarding the difficult circumstances surrounding Donda’s death. “This is amazing,” Kanye tweeted. “Thank you so much for this connection brother. I can’t wait to sit with you and start healing.”
Kanye didn’t say whether he was really going to use Dr. Adams’ photo as an album cover, but it does look like he is receptive to the doctor’s thoughts and feelings, and open to moving on from the seeming senselessness of his mother’s death. Of course, Dr. Adams’ use of the words “cease and desist” implies he intends to take legal action if Kanye were to use his image on the album cover.
Who was Donda West?
Before Kanye hit it big, Donda West was an English professor at Chicago State University. She left academia behind, however, to manage her famous son’s career — much like how Kanye’s mother-in-law Kris Jenner manages the careers of her whole family.
Just a few months before she passed away, Donda saw the publication of her book about being Kanye’s mom: Raising Kanye: Life Lessons from the Mother of a Hip-Hop Superstar. And the year before she passed, Donda attended the 2006 Grammys with her son, watching as he picked up three of the prestigious awards. (Kanye brought home three the year before, as well.)
To honor his mother’s legacy, Kanye founded Donda’s House in Chicago. The charity supports young Chicagoans interested in the arts and the entertainment industry.
I’ve got a new challenge for everyone today. Pick somebody that you had an argument with that you think you hate maybe even someone you haven’t spoken to in years and contact that person and tell them I love you.
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 28, 2018
Kanye may be trying to spread connectivity, forgiveness, and love, but rapper Daz Dillinger is seeking the opposite for Kanye. He issued a “crip alert” on Instagram, urging the notorious gang to attack Kanye for his support of Donald Trump.
TMZ reports that law enforcement has taken notice of Dillinger’s apparent threats towards Mr. West.