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Young mom who died after falling down NY subway stairs may have suffered fatal 'medical episode'

Jaimie-lee Prince
Jan 31, 2019
12:35 P.M.
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A Connecticut woman who died after falling down the stairs in a Manhattan subway is said to have suffered a medical episode.

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Malaysia Goodson of Stamford was at the 7th Avenue and 53rd Street station of Midtown, Manhattan on Monday night at around 8 p.m.

She held her one-year-old baby daughter in a stroller when she went down the stairs of the subway. Someone called 911 upon seeing her fallen next to some shopping bags.

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The New York Police Department later found Goodson "unconscious and unresponsive" at the bottom of the platform. Goodson, 22, was pronounced dead at the Mount Sinai Hospital sometime later.

Her daughter, Rhylee, was unharmed by the ordeal. Relatives are now taking care of her. Online, many shared photos of the beautiful young mother and her baby girl.

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Public opinion held that Goodson died, as a result of the fall, however authorities are saying this is not the case. An initial autopsy showed that a medical episode resulted in the young woman's fall and subsequent death.

Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampsons gave a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

She said:

“While the cause of death is pending in this case, we can state that there is no significant trauma, and this fatality appears to be related to a pre-existing medical condition."

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The family reportedly said that Goodson was having recent headaches and also suffered from a thyroid problem.

Regardless of the cause, the incident increased public awareness of insufficient accessibility features in the subway.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote a tweet:

“This is a heartbreaking tragedy that never should have happened. The subway system is not accessible for everyone and that’s an environment the MTA should not allow.”

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Additionally, the New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson gave his take on Facebook.

He wrote:

“The lack of accessibility in our subways is literally killing people. I am heartbroken by this tragedy, and am keeping this family in my thoughts. NYC must do more for families and the disabled.”

Disabled persons and transit advocates gathered on Seventh Avenue at 53rd Street on Wednesday. They called for more elevators while honoring Goodson with tulips and signs at the subway entrance.

Some of them shared stories of having to carry their own children in strollers. They would often rely on strangers for assistance, sometimes to no avail.

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Goodson's family set up a GoFundMe page to collect funds for Rhylee. The page vows to set up an Education Fund for the one-year-old girl. So far, $17,579 has been raised.

Goodson previously worked as daycare worker at the Baby Cottage. Her brother described her as outgoing with a good sense of humor. Goodson has three other siblings and is survived by her one daughter.

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