BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Five days after the death of 31-year-old Dr. Ali Waclawek, her friends are struggling to cope.
"When I got the news, I couldn't really process it. It still doesn't feel real," Nicole Staebell, a friend of 11 years, said. She continued, "She lit up any room that she walked in to."
A family spokesperson said she died from an extremely rare and life-threatening condition during childbirth called amniotic fluid embolism. Her baby--Ada--survived.
"She was just a pure hearted person," Staebell said.
Ali was a supervising pharmacist at the Walgreens on Delaware and North in Buffalo. The beloved wife, daughter and friend was also a former Buffalo Jill. She participated in outreach community programs through Walgreens and the Jills.
"It leaves a hole that just won't be filled," Now--Dean of D'Youville School of Pharmacy Canio Marasco--remembers when then Ali Carey come in for an interview for a spot in the school's third class.
"Once she started talking you knew there was much more to her story than just being a Jill. Obviously, very intelligent, but she believed, really believed in service," Dean Marasco said.
Waclawek graduated in 2016. While at school, she went on service trips to Uganda and Haiti. At D-Youville, she also met her husband, Justin.
"If we could look back 10 years ago and say what was our ideal student, what was our ideal graduate, it would have been Ali," Marasco said.
A Gofundme set up to help cover medical and funeral expenses, as well as future medical costs has raised more than $90,000 in 24 hours.
The D'Youville School of Pharmacy plans on making a donation to Oishei Children's Hospital in her memory and creating both an award and scholarship to be given to student who exemplifies the person she was.
Ali's husband, Justin, released this statement:
"On behalf of the Carey and Waclawek family, we are absolutely overwhelmed by your generosity and so filled with gratitude in knowing that we have such an incredible network of support. Any funds donated above and beyond Ada’s needs with be donated to the NICU of Oishei Children’s Hospital of Buffalo."