HGTV's Mike Jackson Suffered A Heartbreaking Family Loss

DJ-turned-HGTV star Mike Jackson is typically known for sharing uplifting messages and fun insights into his family life on his Instagram account. However, just a few months before "Married to Real Estate" Season 2 premiered, he took to the platform to open up about a fresh heartbreak he was dealing with. As he shared in the post, he had just lost his cousin, Ellen James-Robinson. 

While Jackson didn't open up about what, exactly, had happened to his beloved cousin, he did note that hers was a pregnancy-related death. Even more devastatingly, he shared in the Instagram post that James-Robinson had asked for help in the days leading up to her passing, and not received it from the physicians she'd approached. "My cousin could've still been alive if the doctors would've cared a bit more. Researched a bit more!" he wrote in the caption. 

In the same post, Jackson also implored healthcare workers to listen to Black women when they raised concerns, and delve into possible options of what could be causing symptoms, rather than turn people away on the grounds that, on paper, there shouldn't be anything wrong. "Everything isn't in your school books. Some things require a concerned, listening ear, willing to dig a little deeper!" he wrote. It was a devastating plea to doctors — and in an Instagram post shared by Jackson's wife and "Married to Real Estate" co-star, Egypt Sherrod, she doubled down on that. 

Egypt Sherrod called out doctors for ignoring new moms

While Mike Jackson declined to share details as to what had happened to his cousin, Egypt Sherrod revealed on Instagram that Ellen James-Robinson had given birth just weeks before her passing. Not long after, Sherrod explained, James-Robinson had felt something was up. And, concerned that it might be something serious, she'd approached her doctor.

"She'd been back to the hospital multiple times, saying she was in pain, she just didn't feel right since she'd had the baby," Sherrod shared in the video. However, she was turned away. Even so, James-Robinson continued to return, determined to advocate for herself — but heartbreakingly, when she made her final visit, Sherrod recounted, "She had a septic infection that took her life." 

Like her husband, Sherrod encouraged doctors to be more receptive to women's concerns. "Healthcare workers, we love you, we understand that your backs are against the wall, we understand that you're understaffed — but we need you, if you're going to be in that position, to pay attention to the signs, and to listen, and to go that extra mile, because ... you guys have folks' lives in your hands," she said. As for new moms and their support systems, she urged anyone with concerns to seek out as many professionals as it took to get the help they needed. "You take care of you, we take care of us, because we are all we got," she ended the video. 

Egypt had a terrifying postpartum experience of her own

While the loss of Mike Jackson's cousin is heartbreaking in itself, it's worth noting that it wasn't the first time the family dealt with post-partum horror stories. On the contrary, as Egypt Sherrod shared in her Instagram video, after welcoming her second daughter, the doctors hadn't paid attention to signs that she may suffer fluid overload. 

As some may remember, after giving birth, Sherrod spoke to People about fluid filling her lungs on her first day home, and needing to be raced to the hospital by Jackson. Thankfully, the doctors were able to drain the fluid (something which she later revealed in an Instagram post ultimately prevented her from breastfeeding). However, speaking to Essence, she hinted that the situation could probably have been stopped earlier on, had doctors warned her. "There's warnings everywhere saying you can experience this after a c-section, and no one at the hospital told me," she told the outlet. 

Sadly, as Jackson had pointed out in his Instagram post, postpartum deaths and complications are far from uncommon in the U.S. — and Black women are often at a higher risk. That was something Serena Williams also mentioned after her own scary childbirth experience. Here's hoping Ellen James-Robinson's story can help generate more awareness and help mark a turning point. Nonetheless, we're sending our heartfelt condolences to her loved ones.