Jean Luc Montou has just gone through the kind of heartbreak nobody should ever have to deal with, when he lost his partner unexpectedly in her hospital room just hours after the birth of their first son.
According to Today, Montou and his fiance, Sarah Bertrand, welcomed their new baby, Julian, on May 9. That day, as they were sitting in Bertrand’s hospital room and she was holding her new baby, something suddenly went horribly wrong. First she complained of a headache. Then she started having what looked like a seizure. Montou says that even while it was happening he thought everything would be OK, because they were in a hospital and they were surrounded by doctors and nurses. They’d just had a baby, and everything was supposed to be fine.
It’s still not entirely clear what happened to Bertrand, who was only 29 years old. Doctors say they suspect it was an amniotic embolism, which is an extremely rare but serious side effect of pregnancy that causes a person’s heart and lungs to collapse and massive bleeding. Bertrand died in her hospital room while she was supposed to be enjoying her new baby.
Montou was left to make the worst Facebook post he’d ever imagined. The couple had not yet announced the birth of their son, because they were waiting to get home and get him cleaned up and some nice pictures to share with their friends and family on social media. Instead, Montou had to tell everyone that Julian was born, and Bertrand had died.
“Still doesn’t even feel real,” he wrote. “It just happened within moments and she was gone. I loved this woman so much and there was no warning. She was so happy to have little Julian. I miss her so much.”
Montou said that he’d originally intended his post to just be a way of telling friends and family what had happened, but his moving, heartbreaking annoucement went viral and has gotten attention all over the world. Montou says he’s glad for that, because it felt like the whole world had looked and noticed that she was gone.
“She deserved no less than for the world to pause for a moment and see how strong, brave and happy she was before her sacrifice,” he told Today. “I just wanted people to know who she was, and I don’t want her to disappear after everything she did for me, my daughter and Julian.”
Montou has set up a GoFundMe to help with expenses for taking care of the baby.
(Image: GoFundMe / Help For Sarah’s Baby Julian)