Blood clot kills top lawyer
A 33-year-old former Crown prosecutor has died suddenly from a blood clot, three weeks after giving birth.
The New Zealand Herald reported that Anna Ruth MacGougan died in Christchurch Hospital last Saturday after suffering a series of strokes over several days, after a blood clot moved to her brain.
She underwent emergency surgery to relieve pressure, but the procedure was unsuccessful and she died.
It is thought the clot developed after MacGougan gave birth to her second son, Tom.
Her husband, Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Murton, has not spoken publicly about her death.
A family notice said MacGougan was an "adored wife" and "much loved mother" to the couple's children, and to Murton's three children from his previous marriage, Laura, Sophie and William.
Her older sister, Helen, wrote on her public Facebook page: "It is an utter tragedy that I lost my dear sister ... Greg lost his beautiful wife, wee Eddie and Tom lost their amazing mother."
Auckland haematologist and obstetric physician Dr Claire McLintock told the New Zealand Herald that strokes and blood clots were a "very uncommon cause of maternal death".
She estimated about one in 100,000 women would suffer such post-delivery complications, with about 20 per cent of those dying.
A Canterbury District Health Board investigation was underway.
MacGougan is a former prosecutor for Crown solicitors Raymond Donnelly and Co.
Crown Solicitor Brent Stanaway told the New Zealand Herald she was "an able and skilful advocate beyond her years".