Days after giving birth, a doctor's wife dies in his arms. In fact, he was the one to call the code signaling the end of any life-saving attempts. But even with the heartbreaking outcome, this story follows a family leaning into their faith even in the darkest of times.
Jared Wilson is a doctor, father, and now widower. And he is faced with the task of raising two boys alone. Jared leans on his faith and support from his family to carry him through this difficult time. What was supposed to be a joyous celebration of new life turns tragic.
Dr. Jared Wilson and his 27-year-old wife, Caitlyn, arrived at the hospital where he works in Buffalo, New York, on December 12 for a planned induction before he returned home to care for their one-year-old son, Lincoln. That night, the anaesthesiologist returned to the hospital and was confident everything was going “really, really well.”
A Tragic Turn Of Events Days After Giving Birth
Jared couldn't wait to meet his second son, Gabriel. Caitlyn had been laboring for hours when her medical team realized Gabriel was in danger. The cord was wrapped around his neck and coming out first. Known as an umbilical cord prolapse, this dangerous condition is life-threatening for a baby because it cuts off their oxygen supply. Immediately, the doctors took Caitlyn to the operating room and had Gabriel out in under ten minutes.
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“At 2:17 the surgeons came back to me with pictures dated at 2:12 that Gabriel was out, he was healthy, he was screaming, all signs looked good. So in a matter of 10 minutes, they wheeled her down to the OR, opened her up, and had a baby out," Jared shared.
While Gabriel was healthy and snuggled into his father's arms, Caitlyn suffered from the aftermath of emergency surgery.
Days After Giving Birth, Mom Leaves For Heaven
Over the next ten days, no one foresaw Caitlyn dying. Yet Jared said complications from the emergency c-section and pregnancy were ‘perfectly hidden by a perfect storm of aspiration, emergency surgery, and pregnancy.'
As her condition began to deteriorate, Caityn's body began to succumb to an infection, blood clots, an obstructive heart block, and sepsis. They lost Caitlyn once, but they were able to revive her.
The next day, she coded for the second time as her husband entered her room to visit. When Jared returned to her room, she had been in code for three minutes. “I just had to call the code,” Jared recalled.
It is a moment forever etched into his memory as Jared said goodbye to his precious wife of three and a half years just days after giving birth. He knew it was time to let her go. Her body was tired of fighting. As heartbreaking as it was to let his wife go, he knew her body couldn't handle anymore.
“To be there at that time, and to be wearing the same uniform that a bunch of other doctors were, I walked into the room. . . and I called the code. They turned off the machines, and then they left as I held Caitlyn. And that was it," he said.
Grieving With Hope
While Jared grieves the loss of his wife, he still has hope because one day, he will be reunited with his wife in heaven. In the meantime, he will cherish her memory and teach her sons who she was.
Jared said, “It’s enough that it will last a lifetime, because as difficult as it will be to raise these boys as a single dad and a doctor, and they won’t know their mom the way that they should, and they won’t know of her love for them the way that they should, I’ll have to work on how to do it,” He added,
“But true love, as sappy and as fairytale and cheesy as it sounds, is real, and it absolutely transcends any boundary of death, life, distance, or mom, that those three years are enough for me to live the rest of my life on. And they’re enough that the boys will know of their mom.”
Though Caitlyn is gone from the world, her memory will live on through her sons and the memories she created with Jared.
We will certainly be praying for Jared during this difficult time. We pray God continues to comfort and bless Jared through his grief.
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Revelations 21:4 "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."
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