When Charlie Whitmer met the love of his life for the first time, he knew that she is the one who he wants to wake up with for the rest of his life. He ran into Kathryn in a bar in Chicago in 2016 and before they knew, they were in love with each other and started planning a family together.
By August 2016, they had plans to exchange vows but something happened that would go on to affect their lives in harrowing ways. Charlie had been diagnosed with aplastic anemia when he was 15 years old and received a bone marrow transplant at the time. While that seemed to have solved the problem, the condition came back to haunt him in 2016, reports Give It Love.
Charlie was heartbroken but he decided to go ahead with the treatment and medications as he did not want to delay their wedding. To their relief, the medications worked and he finally became one with his love, Kathryn. They couldn’t wait to start a family and have a life of dreams. But life was not done testing them yet. He was soon informed that the medications he took had resulted in him developing fertility issues and they must undergo treatments if they want to start a family.
Happiness shone in their lives again when Kathryn was reported pregnant in 2017. Their excitement and happiness doubled when they learned that she was, in fact, pregnant with not one but three babies! They couldn’t contain their joy. After months of struggles, happiness eventually flooded their lives.
Kathryn was healthy and was holding up strong during her pregnancy, until the 27th week. With the onset of the 27th week, she started experiencing a pounding headache and had to be rushed to the hospital. A piece of terrible news was about to be broken to Charlie as he waited in the waiting room.
As Charlie told the Chicago Tribune, “I was in the waiting room… and someone came out and said, ‘Your wife has a big bleed in her brain.’ At that time, I didn’t know anything about what a brain bleed meant.”
Just a month before delivery, Kathryn’s condition started getting worse. The pressure of pregnancy was weighing too much on the couple and it was turning out to be one of the most stressful and harrowing months of their lives. He just wanted the babies and Kathryn to be healthy but destiny has something else in store for the newlywed couple.
On June 4, 2017, the triplets were born and were in sound health but Kathryn’s condition was fast deteriorating. A couple of days after delivery, she had to go through an emergency brain surgery. In a devastating turn of events, Kathryn never awoke from her unconscious state after surgery. Charlie was heartbroken and cried uncontrollably on getting the news. One thought kept bothering him – she would never be able to shower her children with the love that a mother had in her heart.
The doctors decided to take the children to their mother and placed them in her unconscious arms. But what happened next proves that a mother’s arms would always recognize her babies. Although she was close to brain dead, tears rolled down her cheeks.
Kathryn’s doctor, Dr. K, who was taken aback and amazed by the incident said, “I can’t explain that medically.” But he did mention that even though she was on the verge of being brain dead, that does not mean she could not feel the presence of her babies.
This incident strengthened our belief in the connection between a mother and her babies. Kathryn’s unconscious state could not be a blockage to her emotions on feeling her newborn babies. It’s hard to comprehend what must be going on in her mind and heart but as this moment passed it broke Charlie’s heart. This proved to be the first and last time Kathryn could ever feel her babies.
On June 8, 2017, Charlie was informed that Kathryn has passed away. While this left him distraught, he now had three lives to nurture and the dual responsibilities of a mother and a father. Although it was not easy and he missed his wife every minute of his life, he knew that he has a lot to take care of. He decided to become a new man and be there for his children whenever they need him. He left his job and took up full-time fatherhood so that his children do not grow up feeling unloved and alone.
While Kathryn did leave this world and their lives, she made a stronger and more responsible man of Charlie, which in a way is a gift for life.