Keiana Herndon was doing what so many of us do around the world - documenting her every day life via social media. The 26-year-old was broadcasting to family and friends on Facebook Live on December 28, about her plans to go back to school, and showing off her one-year-old son Rylee.
Horrifyingly, partway through the video she begins gasping for air and wiping her face. Herndon’s aunt Barbara Johnson told KATV in Arkasas that her niece collapsed as her young son could be heard screaming in the background.
And most horrifyingly of all, her family reports, the number of people watching the broadcast actually increased as the dreadful drama unfolded.
“The views went from two or three, to too many,” Keiana’s uncle Jeffrey Herndon told Arkansas Matters.
Keiana had over 3400 Facebook friends though it’s unclear how many were watching.
KATV reported that thousands watched the video before it was removed from Facebook.
It wasn’t for another 30 minutes that a friend showed up to help Keiana as she lay on the floor. But by then it was too late.
"It's amazing for someone to sit there and see somebody or hear them take their last breath and nobody did anything," said Keiana’s father Richard. "So, I want to take my hat off to everybody that actual did something.”
"For her to leave two kids so young. So early is ... I don't know how to deal with it," said Richard.
"As soon as she fell and she didn't grab the phone back, they should have done something," her half-sister Keishun Brown told the New York Daily News.
Keiana’s friends say she had an ongoing thyroid problem which she had recently learned could be life-threatening, although the exact cause of death has not been determined.
A GoFundMe page set up to support the young mum’s two little boys described Keiana as a “beautiful, free spirited and loving mother, daughter, sister, aunt and friend.”