Blood Clot Killed Student

New York Newsday
Wednesday, April 7, 2004
By Deborah S. Morris & Rocco Parascandola

A blood clot killed the Upper West Side teen who collapsed in a midtown subway station and died a few hours later, the medical examiner has ruled.

But officials still must conduct further tests to determine what caused the clot that killed Zakiya Kennedy, an aspiring model and fashion designer.

"Everybody loved her. She didn't run the streets. She just wanted to pursue her talents," said her father, Kevin Kennedy.

He said the 5-foot-9 Zakiya was preparing to audition for stint on the reality TV series "America's Next Top Model" and hoped for a career in show business. "I was supposed to take her out Sunday to a show, a movie," said Kennedy, who is visiting the city from Pennsylvania.

"I spoke to her Friday and she said she was bored. So I told her I would be home Sunday to take her out. And now this."

Kennedy, 18, collapsed Friday night a short time after she tripped at a subway station at West 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue. She died at Bellevue Hospital Center a few hours later.

Early reports suggested the Berkeley College student died after suffering injuries at the hand of her boyfriend, who allegedly pushed her during a quarrel, but police have now ruled out that theory.

A high-ranking police official said Kennedy used a contraceptive patch but was not wearing it at the time of her death.

The patch, which prevents ovulation by tricking the body into thinking it is pregnant, can increase the likelihood of blood clots. The clots can lead to a pulmonary embolism, stroke or heart attack.

Clotting risks associated with patches are reported to be low, according to federal statistics. But women of any age who have a history of high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer are counseled to avoid the patch and birth-control pills.

Kennedy's father said his family just wants to get to the bottom of the mystery. "We are confused. We hope to have more information in a day or two," he said.

A wake and funeral are scheduled for Saturday morning. Details were not available last night.

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