"I’m afraid of dying. Don’t leave me alone."

Despite repeated requests to see her partner, Ms. Langbehn says she was given just one five-minute visit, when a priest administered last rites. She says she continued to plead with a hospital worker that the children be allowed to see their mother, even showing the children’s birth certificates.

“I said to the receptionist, ‘Look, they’re her kids,’ ” Ms. Langbehn said.