Jean Luc Montou went through an emotional roller coaster that few of us could ever fathom. The happiest event of his life and the saddest both took place within a 24 hour period and while he experienced a great loss, he wants to make sure that the memory of his lost partner will be able to live on for years to come.
“Afterward, she just silently dropped tears of joy and happiness,” Montou told TODAY Parents. “She loved Julian so much.”
“Once the symptoms start showing, it’s already begun,” said Montou. “I remember thinking it would be OK because we were in a hospital — and the staff tried so hard to help her — but I knew it was serious when they started doing compressions and began using the defibrillator.”
Jean Luc and his partner Sarah welcomed their little boy into the world on May 9 and the moment could not have been a happier one. When Julian was born, this should have been a time to rejoice and imagine a life together, but this couple was tragically torn apart before they were given a chance to enjoy their newfound family.
“Sarah didn’t make it,” he wrote. “My last 24 hours with her was the happiest I’d ever been…I loved this woman like no other and she died in front of me while I held our son. Please take a few moments to remember this woman because she was the absolute best thing that has ever happened to me and Jane [his daughter from a previous relationship].”
“Sarah was there for me when I was having a hard time as a single father,” Montou wrote. “Sarah was there for Jane when she needed a mother figure. Sarah did not skip a beat or hesitate to be there for us and love us from the time we met.”
Sarah passed away 24 hours after Julian’s birth and the cause of her death still remains unknown. For their part, the hospital believes that she experienced an amniotic embolism, a condition that causes the lungs and heart to collapse due to excessive amounts of internal bleeding.
“I miss her so much, but sometimes I think it would be selfish to ask God to return her because she finally gets the peace and relaxation that she sought her entire life,” Montou said. “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.”
While Sarah complained that she was experiencing a headache before her seizures began to take place, it was too late for Jean Luc or the doctors to help her. She was already succumbing to her condition by the time her symptoms had become evident and the hospital could not stem the tide.
“I am so overjoyed that Sarah’s become such a legend in the world,” Montou wrote in a recent post on Facebook. “There are people from all over the world messaging me and offering thoughts and condolences for Sarah Bertrand and it just means everything to me at a time like this. I’ve said it from the moment I posted the life changing news… I just wanted her on people’s minds and in their thoughts even if it was just for a second. Her sacrifice is being recognized all over the world.”
Jean Luc took to Facebook to express his grief and his response to the tragedy went viral almost immediately. He spoke about the difficulties he experienced as a single father (he had a child from a previous relationship before meeting Sarah) and how Sarah’s selflessness had changed his life for the better.
The couple was planning on getting married after the child was born, but God had other plans for Sarah. Jean Luc is now attempting to raise money to assist the family with their future expenses by starting a Go Fund Me page. Please share this story to spread awareness about this family’s plight and Jean Luc’s touching response in the face of total despair.
“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,” said Montou.