In December, Mitchell’s family revealed that the influencer, who was pregnant with her fifth child and ran the popular Instagram account The Hidden Way, had died unexpectedly on the morning of 22 December.
At the time, a GoFundMe set up by Mitchell’s family said that the young mother was having coffee and breakfast at home in Rhode Island when she “suddenly became unresponsive,” with her family and medical personnel unable to save her.
This week, an update to the GoFundMe revealed that the Medical Examiner’s Office determined the 36-year-old died of a pulmonary embolism, with her unborn baby, who the couple had named Joey, also dying as a result.
“A few days ago we learned from the state Medical Examiners Office that the official cause of death was a pulmonary embolism,” the update shared by Mitchell’s husband Joseph reads. “Although it is challenging to wrap our heads around how this could have happened, we know all first responders and medical personnel did everything they could to help, and therefore we are certain that it was simply her time; the Lord was calling her home.”
A pulmonary embolism is a blockage in the lungs that is often caused by a blood clot that has travelled to the lungs from another part of the body, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Pregnancy is a risk factor for pulmonary embolism, with the Mayo Clinic noting: “The weight of the baby pressing on veins in the pelvis can slow blood return from the legs and clots are more likely to form when blood slows or pools.”
In the update, the family also expressed their gratitude for the “outpouring of love and support,” writing: “The children and I are so thankful for the outpouring of love and support in the wake of the sudden passing on of our beloved Emily and baby Joey. Words can’t describe how meaningful your words, gestures, expressions, and encouragement have been to us.”
The couple, who share children Finn, Isla, Edie and Lulu, first announced they were expecting their fifth child in November, when Mitchell shared a photo of herself and her husband holding a sonogram to Instagram.
“YOU GUYS. NUMBER FIVE. Who guessed the secret?! You’ve probably noticed I’ve been a little MIA..welp this be the reason lol,” she captioned the photo, adding that she was 11 weeks pregnant at the time.
Following her death, Mitchell’s husband said he plans to continue homeschooling their children “in the same spirit and vision that Emily was so passionate about,” and plans to “learn how best to continue sharing what the kids and I are up to on Instagram”.
As of Thursday, the GoFundMe page set up for the family has raised $173,245, surpassing its goal of $150,000.