Health

Dad-of-Four’s Heartbreak after Losing Baby and Wife from Rare Pregnancy Complication

A Queensland father has lost both his wife and an unborn baby girl after a tragic pregnancy complication took both of their lives just one week apart. 

Family and friends have rallied to support Ben Thompson as he comes to terms with this heartbreaking loss and prepares to raise their four little boys without his loving wife by his side. 

Preparing for baby #5

Ben’s loving wife, Lauren Thompson, was 36 weeks pregnant with their fifth child – their first little girl, whom the couple had named Hannah. They were already parents to four darling boys, aged 9, 6, 4, and 2 and were counting down the days until their daughter would join them. 

Lauren had a healthy and normal pregnancy until she started to experience stomach pain before bed. At first, Lauren assumed it was food poisoning but the pain continued to get worse and worse. 

“It just became more and more painful to the point where she was getting scared, I started getting scared, and so I called Triple-0,” Ben told Yahoo News Australia. “She actually thought it was [from something] she’d eaten earlier.”

Tragically, it turned out to be a lot worse. When the paramedics first arrived at the couple’s North Lakes home, they thought Lauren may have had a seizure. Lauren’s vision was impaired, her arm was stiff and her fingers had involuntarily crossed over one another. 

Ruptured uterus 

As she attempted to walk to the ambulance, Lauren collapsed. She was rushed to Redcliffe Hospital where 40 doctors and nurses attempted to save both Lauren and Hannah.

Tragically, Hannah passed away, most likely sometime before arriving at the hospital. Ben was informed that his wife has experienced a rare pregnancy complication known as a ruptured uterus and was bleeding out. 

The uterine rupture was caused by Lauren’s uterus growing on old scar tissue from her previous four caesareans. This is a very rare pregnancy complication which occurs in around 1 in every 300 deliveries. Among people who’ve had more than one C-section, uterine rupture is more common, affecting up to 9 in 300 deliveries.

“What the doctors told me is that when this type of thing happens, the mother’s body shuts off blood to the placenta to save itself,” he explained.

At first, Ben thought he had lost both Hannah and Lauren but the head doctor explained that Lauren had actually pulled through. His wife was alive. 

Ben remained by his wife’s side as she seemed to begin to recover. Lauren’s organs started to repair, her liver started to improve and her kidneys began to function properly. She was also starting to breathe on her own. But then, things took a major turn for the worse. 

A week after Lauren was first rushed to hospital, she experienced an unrecoverable brain bleed.

Saying goodbye to mummy

Just one week after losing Hannah, Ben was forced to also say goodbye to his wife. 

Ben took their four boys to say their final goodbyes to their mummy, who is described by friends as “the most beautiful and nurturing mum”. 

“They were in shock but said their goodbyes. They said ‘mummy I love you and gave her a kiss’.”

Ben kept the goodbye short as he knew they couldn’t handle it for too long and his youngest children are still too little to fully understand. 

“I could foresee how many layers of trauma there were that we were going to have to work through.

My two-year-old was calling out for mum [on Thursday night] but there’s nothing I can tell him that he’ll understand so I just had to hold him.”

‘Truly one of a kind’

No one could have prepared this loving family for this magnitude of loss but friends have started a GoFundMe account to help the Thompsons.  

 “She took care of everything. She left no stone unturned. So now I’m thinking ‘how the hell am I going to do this?'” Ben said.

The news of Lauren’s passing “hit everyone who knew her like a sledgehammer”, a friend of the family wrote on the page. 

“Anyone who met Lauren instantly felt the warmth, kindness and love that she radiated. She was truly one of a kind. She was the most beautiful and nurturing mum to her 4 young boys ages 9, 7, 4, and 2. And a gorgeous wife to Ben.

She devoted her life to her boys, she homeschooled them with so much patience and passion. Anyone who has met them could feel the love and respect between them all. She will be so deeply missed by everyone, especially her family. The loss of such a kind human and amazing mum will be felt forever.” 

Our hearts break for Ben and his boys. If you are able to donate to help this family, please do so through GoFundMe.

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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