Prince's ex-wife, Mayte Garcia, has opened up about the devastating loss of their son more than 20 years later.
Mayte, who was married to the legendary pop icon from 1996 to 2000, gave birth to the couple’s first child in 1996. Sadly, their baby boy Amiir - Arabic for “prince” — was born with Pfeiffer syndrome type 2, a rare genetic disorder.
He lived for just six days.
“I don’t think he ever got over it,” Mayte told People in an interview for her new memoir, The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince. “I don’t know how anybody can get over it. I know I haven’t.”
Mayte, then 22, explains that the duo were overjoyed to discover that they would soon become first-time parents. But joy quickly turned to concern as she began to bleed during her pregnancy.
After visiting a doctor, the couple were advised to undergo an amniocentesis to test for genetic abnormalities - a procedure which carries a risk of miscarriage. “Sometimes the body is trying to release the fetus for a reason,” the doctor explained.
But Mayte says the "Purple Rain" singer refused medical intervention.“My husband said, ‘No, we’re not doing that,'” she writes.
Instead, the dancer, now 43, explains that Prince opted to pray for the baby's health.
“Please, bless this child,” said Prince as he prayed on his knees. “We know you won’t allow this child to be harmed.”
Despite further complications - including an ultrasound which returned atypical measurements, raising the possibility that the baby could have a form of dwarfism - the couple remained steadfast in their decision to refuse medical intervention.
Baby Amiir was welcomed into the world via C-section, on October 16, 1996.
“I don’t know how to describe the look on my husband’s face. Pure joy,” Mayte writes.
“And then they held the baby up to those harsh lights,” she continues. “The elation on my husband’s face turned to pure terror.”
“Pfeiffer syndrome type 2 is a genetic disorder that causes skeletal and systematic abnormalities,” Matye explains. “The premature fusing of the bones in the skull, sometimes resulting in ‘cloverleaf skull,’ in which the eyes are outside the sockets. The fusion of bones in the hands and feet causing a webbed or pawlike appearance … I learned all of this later.”
“They brought the baby over to us,” she writes. “He was curled on his side, gasping shallow little gulps of air. Because there were no lids to blink, his eyes looked startled and dry. I caught hold of his tiny hand, saying over and over, ‘Mama loves you, Mama’s here.'”
In the days following his birth, doctors performed multiple procedures on little Amiir but he continued to struggle to breathe and died just six days after his birth.
“After six days he was struggling to breathe,” writes Garcia. “And I said to the doctor, ‘He’s not leaving here, is he?'”
Amiir’s death, followed closely by a miscarriage not long afterwards, is believed to have been the cause behind the famed couple’s demise.
“I believe a child dying between a couple either makes you stronger or it doesn’t. For me, it was very, very hard to move forward and for us as a couple I think it probably broke us,” Mayte said of their relationship in June 2015.
The prolific artist, whose real name was Prince Rogers Nelson, was found dead on Thursday, April 21 at his Paisley Park estate and studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota - just days after performing before thousands of fans at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta on April 14.
Reports out of the US reveal that the music icon was killed by an opioid overdose.