Woman who got at­ten­tion by giv­ing birth to 7 kids has died at the age of 63

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - OBITUARIES -

SAN DIEGO » Pa­tri­cia Frustaci, who made na­tional head­lines in 1985 when she gave birth to seven chil­dren but strug­gled with the fi­nan­cial and pub­lic­ity fallout and with the heartache of see­ing four ba­bies per­ish, has died. She was 63.

Frustaci, who suf­fered from pul­monary fi­bro­sis, died Satur­day at a San Diego hos­pi­tal, her el­dest son, Joseph Frustaci of San Diego, said Wed­nes­day.

Frustaci was an English teacher in River­side and the mother of Joseph when she gave birth af­ter un­der­go­ing fer­til­ity treat­ments. At the time, it was the largest mul­ti­ple birth in the United States.

How­ever, the ba­bies were de­liv­ered 12 weeks pre­ma­turely by ce­sarean sec­tion and had a num­ber of se­ri­ous health prob­lems.

One girl was still­born, and two boys and a girl died within weeks.

Med­i­cal ex­penses soon topped $1 mil­lion. The fam­ily sued the fer­til­ity clinic and a doc­tor, al­leg­ing wrong­ful death of the four chil­dren and neg­li­gence that led to health prob­lems for the sur­viv­ing chil­dren.

“There is not a day that goes by that we don’t talk about them,” Frustaci, speak­ing of the dead chil­dren, said in a de­po­si­tion. “There is not a day that goes by that I don’t look at their pic­tures.”

The clinic later set­tled the law­suit with­out ac­knowl­edg­ing any wrong­do­ing. It agreed to pay $450,000 and to pro­vide monthly pay­ments to the sur­viv­ing three chil­dren for life.

The fi­nan­cial prob­lems, the pub­lic­ity and the stress of look­ing af­ter chil­dren who needed round-the­clock care took a toll on Frustaci, who also suf­fered from what is now known as bipo­lar dis­or­der, her son said.

“It was dif­fi­cult,” he said. “She’s a nor­mal woman thrust into no­to­ri­ety . ... the over­all frenzy took its toll.”

How­ever Frustaci, a de­vout Mor­mon, never had sec­ond thoughts about her de­ci­sion to have the fer­til­ity treat­ments, her son said.

“She never re­gret­ted it,” he said. “It gave her her chil­dren and her chil­dren are her life.”

In 1990, af­ter us­ing the same fer­til­ity drug, Frustaci gave birth to healthy twins. That boy and girl are now col­lege grad­u­ates, Joseph Frustaci said.

Frustaci and her hus­band, Sa­muel Frustaci, later di­vorced and for many years she lived with her el­dest son and his fam­ily.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.