Tragedy struck last night in Hamden, Connecticut when a pregnant, former Ethiopian runner collapsed and died from an apparent heart attack at 26-years-old.
Meskerem Legesse, who was in her last trimester, was picking up food at a Chinese restaurant with her 2-year-old son when a witness said that she folded over in sudden pain, dying shortly after paramedics rushed her to the hospital.
Fortunately, doctors were able to save Legesse’s child who was scheduled to be delivered in just three weeks.
According to the New York Daily News, Hartford-based WFSB-TV reported that the 2004 Athens Olympic miler was forced to retire because of a heart condition.
Although Legesse’s Olympic career was stunted, after settling in America, the long-distance runner competed successfully in several professional events, including the Millrose Games and Fifth Avenue Mile.
The state medical examiner’s office declined to perform an autopsy, citing Legesse’s past health problems, a spokesman said, disclosing no further details.