Tragic Loss Makes Way For A New Breath Of Life
STARKE - It's as bitter as it is sweet. The life cycle of birth and death-- all at one time-- for a family from Starke. A young mother passes away during labor and leaves behind a premature baby boy and his grieving father. However the mother fought to the very end to bring her son safely into the world.
This mother died from a rare condition during delivery on Saturday and as the father mourns the loss of his best friend and companion, he tells me his wife left behind the greatest gift a man could ever ask for a healthy baby boy of 5 pounds, by the name of zander.
Dana and Shane were best friends when they decided to get married and naturally like any other couple they wanted to start a family, something that didn't come easy. However after undergoing fertility treatments for more than a year, they were successful.
This January they found out they were expecting but with both diabetes and high blood pressure Dana carried out a complicated pregnancy. She was at UF Health a little more than 10 days before her labor was induced and while she passed away giving birth, she was able to deliver a 5 pound baby boy.
Shane said, "I just want to remind him every day that his momma loved him. She couldn't wait to hold him in her arms. It's such a tragic thing. To lose her so suddenly and for her not to see that precious gift."
She died August 10th of an Amniotic Fluid Embolism, it's when fetal cells and other debris enter the mother's blood stream and provoke an allergic reaction. The reaction causes the heart and lung to collapse.
Dana worked as a realtor at Charnelle Whittemore realty before passing. Her close friend and colleague remembers Dana as a giving woman.
Charnelle Whittemore said, "When she knew of a loved one that had passed she would make them a heart-felt piece of jewelry, with their picture on it. My husband's military when he was deployed she made you know... Necklaces with his picture on it. She was always helping other people."
Faced with hospital bills and a newborn, there is a fund set up to receive donations. "Right now I have to be strong for that little boy and take care of him. That's what she really would of wanted. So I am just trying to be strong for that," Shane said.
Shane says he will spread Dana's ashes in New Orleans where they got married as a symbol of their love. A love he says will stay alive through their baby boy, Zander. For more information on how to make a donation, click here.
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