Prince's ex-wife, Mayte Garcia, is opening up in a new memoir about her four-year marriage to the pop star, who died of an accidental overdose in April 2016. In the book, she reveals that she gave birth to their son, Amiir, who died after six days due to a rare genetic condition.
Little Amiir had Pfeiffer syndrome type II, which is associated with the fusion of bones in the skull in a way that causes a cloverleaf-shaped head (often referred to as Cloverleaf Skull), along with abnormal bone growth in the hands, feet, and limbs. It can also sometimes be associated with unusually large spaces in the brain, impaired mental development, and problems breathing. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, it can have life-threatening complications.
Garcia told People that she was 22 when she got pregnant, and she and Prince were thrilled. But one day she started bleeding, and her doctor recommended an amniocentesis test to check for genetic disorders. Prince was against the idea, because the procedure has a risk of miscarriage. At first, the doctor suspected their baby had a form of dwarfism, but also warned them that their future child could have a fatal condition. But they opted to not get the test, and Amiir was born on October 16, 1996.
"I don't know how to describe the look on my husband's face. Pure joy," Garcia wrote in her book. "And then they held the baby up to those harsh lights. The elation on my husband's face turned to pure terror."
Amiir wasn't crying, because he was "gasping shallow little gulps of air," and would not blink because he had no eyelids. He went through multiple medical procedures, but he died at just 6 days old.
While Garcia was still grieving, Prince had to drag her out of bed to meet Oprah at Paisley Park. As Oprah took a tour, he showed her a nursery that he had set up to surprise Garcia. "It had everything a perfect nursery needs, except for the only thing a perfect nursery needs," she wrote, saying that Prince instructed her to not mention the horrific trauma she went through. She said that the loss of their child put a strain on their marriage and helped lead them to divorce.
"I don't think [Prince] ever got over it," Garcia told People. "I don't know how anybody can get over it. I know I haven't."