Everything was picture perfect for 30-year-old Jessica Guedes and 31-year-old Flavio Gonçalvez until she collapsed minutes from the altar and died.
The wedding is one of the most special days of a couple's life. But when they are expecting a baby and the unborn child gets to be part of the wedding, it would be all the more special. Everything was picture perfect 30-year-old Jessica Guedes and 31-year-old Flavio Gonçalvez. Jessica was six months pregnant and looking forward to a lifetime of happiness with her groom. But this fairytale wedding ended up in a devastating heartbreak when the bride collapsed just before they met at the altar.
Just before the beautiful bride stepped out of the limo to join the wedding guests and her eager firefighter groom, Jessica collapsed in the vehicle. Her family had assumed it was pre-wedding jitters that triggered this reaction, according to the Sun. While she was lying unconscious in the car, her husband-to-be was waiting at the altar for his bride. According to Inside Edition, the groom later spoke to Brazilian Crescer Magazine about the fateful day and recalled, "I was worried because I was waiting for her at the altar and she was taking ages to come in. A cousin of hers ran down the carpet and told me that she had passed out. I opened the car door and she was lying down but regained consciousness to talk to me. I said to her, ‘Baby, I’m here’. She replied that everything was fine, but that she had a severe pain in the back of her neck. At that moment, I became a rescuer, as I have been for seven years with the Fire Department. I took her out of the limo, started first aid and asked for help from my firefighter friends who were there as guests."
She was taken to a state hospital in São Paulo, where she was declared brain dead much to the shock of her family. From then on, the day turned into a nightmare. The reports suggested that she had pre-eclampsia, a condition that triggers seizures as well as liver and kidney failure, reports Metro UK. The symptoms include high blood pressure and a high level of protein in the urine, which indicates a breakdown of red blood cells. Due to the complexity of the condition, she was taken to Pro Matre Paulista Maternity Hospital, a private hospital.
There they found that she not only had pre-eclampsia but also suffered a stroke that led to internal bleeding. This is when the experts decided to perform a cesarean section to save their unborn child. However, tragedy struck when the expectant mother lost her life soon after the surgery, according to Mirror UK.
Flavio's day became an unforgettable chain of events, from being a beaming groom waiting for his bride at the altar, to turning into an expert who had to use his lifesaving skills on his on wife-to-be, to being told she was brain dead on arrival at the hospital, to holding his first child in his arms, and then being told the mother of his child, the women he was supposed to have exchanged vows with, was no more.
The new father broke down and said, "I still can't believe this has happened. It seems like I'm in a sad movie, and you cry, cry, cry, but leave the movie theatre knowing it was just a movie. However, in my case, the movie will never be over, and the suffering will go on forever."
Recollecting how graceful and strong his fiance was, he spoke about his beloved soulmate and how he hopes to pass on her strength and wisdom to his child. "Jessica was a really cheerful person who loved life, an enlightened and strong being of light. I was so looking forward to becoming her husband and becoming a father. I will be strong and I will not weaken in the face of adversity. The love of my life taught me how to respect and treat a woman well so that I could learn how to take care of our daughter."
Flavio is now a single dad to baby Sophia, who was born weighing 2.05 lbs. According to the Daily Mail, the infant was in neonatal care for a while. The new dad also realized that his health plan didn't cover private maternity care. Having gone through a devastating loss, he barely was in a position to think about the practical challenges of raising a child and caring for a newborn. But his ever-supportive friends and colleagues from the military police helped raise over £20,000 (approx. USD 25000) to handle the immediate costs.
Speaking of Jessica, who is no more to take care of her child, her relative said, "Jessica was attending prenatal care, had no high blood pressure during her pregnancy and was healthy, doing physical activity and eating well." Neither she nor her family expected any health complications.
For Flavio, his little girl is now the center of his world. The clip of his daughter responding to her dad's voice and sweetly reaching out to him melts our heart, and at the same time it hurts us to know this lovely family couldn't be together. With an independent and lovely mom as Jessica and a dad as committed as Flavio, little Sophia sure will grow up to be a strong girl. Sending prayers and love to the family. Here is a clip of Flavio singing to little Sophia.