After seven years of hoping for a baby, one Texan couple never gave up hope. So, when they learned that they’d finally conceived a child, they were absolutely delighted. However, then tragedy struck in the most brutal of ways.
Sean Brown and his wife Heather first met on a blind date. Sean would later admit that he didn’t really like such set ups. However, he gave Heather a call when some mutual friends passed on her number.
The two had a lot in common. They both lived in East Texas and were hardworking people. At the time, Sean was serving in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Heather had a job as an office director at an ambulance business.
The pair first met over dinner. What’s more, it really was a case of love at first sight. “We would stay up until the wee hours talking,” Sean revealed to People in 2015. “And about a month later, we moved in with each other.”
Then, a year into their whirlwind romance, the pair tied the knot. Now all they wanted to do was start a family. “I could tell she was going to be a great mom,” Sean said. “She was a natural with kids.”
However, after seven years of trying, the couple were still waiting for Heather to fall pregnant. Moreover, to make matters even worse, doctors were unsure if they’d ever be able to conceive. However, Heather and Sean refused to give up.
As a result, when the couple discovered that Heather was expecting in 2012 they were ecstatic. “We wanted this so badly,” Sean recalled. “Doctors told her that she would never be fertile, so when we got the great news, it didn’t sink in at first. We were in awe and shock.”
However, Heather’s pregnancy was far from smooth. She developed a condition called preeclampsia, which can be extremely dangerous. In fact, it accounts for 500,000 infant and 76,000 maternal deaths globally each year.
Preeclampsia is a disorder that affects 5 to 8 percent of all pregnancies. It causes high blood pressure and the existence of protein in the urine. Other symptoms include weight gain, swelling and headaches.
However, in Heather’s case her symptoms were very severe. What’s more, in September 2012 doctors took her into hospital after she suffered from preeclamptic seizures. In turn, this resulted in a brain aneurysm.
At the time, Heather was just 34 weeks into her pregnancy. Nevertheless, doctors were able to perform an emergency C-section. However, to make matters even worse, Sean was away in Afghanistan at the time.
Indeed, Sean only heard about the situation when Heather’s aunt emailed him. Consequently, he embarked on a race against time to get back to his ill wife and newborn baby. However, his journey wasn’t going to be easy.
“I hitchhiked on different planes to get home,” Sean told People. “It took three days, but I finally got to them.” When he arrived, police escorted him to the hospital. That’s where Sean first met his son, John Michael Thomas Brown.
However, his beloved wife was not in a good way. Indeed, following her aneurysm, Heather had slipped into a coma. What’s more, she hadn’t even been able to spend one minute with her new son. Naturally, this was enormously upsetting for Sean.
“She is the most nurturing woman you could ever meet,” Charity Robinson, who originally introduced the couple, told People. “So, the fact that she can’t wipe away John’s tears or give him a kiss is so heartbreaking.”
What’s more, three years later there has been little improvement in Heather’s condition. However, she has gained some movement in her fingers and can answer simple questions by blinking. Furthermore, she’s also managed to utter a few words, including her husband’s and son’s names.
“She once said my name and John’s name,” Sean revealed. “I never realized that I had an Achilles heel until she wasn’t here.” However, despite everything, the family are managing to remain positive.
“I take it day by day,” Sean said. “I can’t dwell on the future, what it needs to be or what it can be – I try to take it for what it is. Going through something like this makes you realize what you appreciate in life. I still have hope she is here with us.”
For the doting dad, it’s important that John forms a bond with his mom. What’s more, John recognizes and loves him mom just like any other three-year-old. Now, Sean holds out hope that one day Heather will get to know him in as well.
“I hurt for her that she has missed out on everything and I just hope he can get to know his mom, too,” Sean admitted in his interview with People. “I want us to be a family and I’m not giving up.”