Nicole Thea, a 24-year-old YouTube star from London, and her unborn child passed away suddenly on Saturday morning. CNN reports that Thea was around eight months pregnant at the time of her death.
“To all Nicole’s friends and supporters it is with great sadness that I have to inform you that Nicole and her son she and Boga named Reign sadly passed away on Saturday morning,” a statement from her mother read. It was posted on her Instagram page along with a photo of her. “As a family we ask that you give us privacy because our hearts are truly broken and we are struggling to cope with what has happened.” The cause of death during this time is unknown.
Thea became popular on the site for various videos, such as hair and wig-slaying tutorials, travel vlogs, and dance visuals, amassing over 87,000 subscribers. She was chronicling her pregnancy in a series of clips posted to her YouTube channel, with the most recent video appearing on her page Sunday. A few videos were pre-scheduled prior to her death, and they will still air as planned, per the Instagram post revealing her passing.
She and her boyfriend, street dancer Global Boga, announced that they were expecting a child back in April via an Instagram video.
“GOD gave us the biggest blessing yet,” the announcement caption read, accompanying a video of Thea and Boga (real name, Jeffrey Frimpong) dancing in the mirror. “I’m finally creating a beautiful little human inside of me. Can’t believe this bubba will be half of me and half of the [love of my life].”
According to the UK Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths, the chance of death for Black mothers was 1 in 2,500 between 2014 and 2016, a rate five times higher than a white mother in the UK. Such as in the U.S., these figures could be the result of insufficient prenatal care, which could be brought on by social and economic issues in Black communities, as well as health complications experienced by Black women who are expecting, like preeclampsia. However, Black women’s fear of not being believed by doctors and nurses about their complications could also play a factor.
“We need to talk about the fact Black women may not feel that they will be taken seriously, which might make them less likely to disclose how they are feeling,” Dr. Ria Clarke told the BBC in 2019. “This is urgent because women are dying and if it’s not racial bias we need to know why [it is happening].”