Rudy Alston, stage name Floss, got the page as he sat in the waiting room of Brooklyn Women's Medical Pavilion on December 1, 1998. Tommy Boy Records had just signed the young rapper to a contract. Alston never got to share the news with his fiancee, 22-year-old Tamika Dowdy. Unknown to Alston, Tamika was dying from complications of her abortion.
Staff at the clinic summoned emergency care for a woman with difficulty breathing. Police arrived first, followed by paramedics at 6 P.M. The medics worked to save Tamika, performing CPR, as Alston waited. He's been waiting since noon.
Alston, age 22, reportedly told the New York Post that a doctor had kept walking in and out of the waiting room, "sweating real fierce and pacing. He did that several times, and then he finally came up to me and said that her heart had stopped. Alston rode by her side to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead the following day.
Alston and Dowdy had lived a floor apart, planning to be married in January or February of 1999. They'd decided on abortion because Dowdy wanted to go to a two-year school to learn accounting so she could handle the finances of Alston's band, Council. Dowdy had been four months pregnant.
The facility had been in trouble earlier, after an incident on November 14 in which a woman suffered a perforated uterus. The Health Department lost that woman to follow up after she left the hospital. Dowdy's death was under investigation as of the publication of the New York Post story.
Tamika's 18-year-old brother, Darrel Dowdy, told the Post, "I want that place closed down. I want that doctor arrested for murder." He described his sister as active in her church. Dowdy and her brother had lost their mother to a heart attack almost a year to the day before Tamika's death.
When the Post sent a reporter and photographer to Brooklyn Women's Health Pavilion, they reported, the woman who answered the intercom called security to have them removed. The Post also noted that the police officials' daily report mentioned only the address where the incident had taken place, without mentioning the name of the facility or that a medical procedure had been involved.
According to the NAF web site, Brooklyn Women's Medical Pavilion was a member facility.
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