Cumbria Woman, 39, Dies One Week After Bringing Premature Triplets Home From Hospital

Just days after celebrating their first Christmas together, a family from the United Kingdom have lost a wife, as well as a first-time mother.

The Sun reports that Rachel Park, a 39-year-old Whitehaven resident who recently gave birth to triplets, passed away suddenly early Tuesday in her home. Just seven days before, Rachel and her husband, 37-year-old Steven Park, were finally allowed to bring their children home from the hospital after they were born about 12 weeks shy of a normal 36-week (nine months) gestation period.

Speaking to ITV last week about her three “miracle” daughters, Poppie, Mollie, and Evelyn, Park relayed that doctors initially warned her to “prepare for the worst.”

“It was touch and go with all three at some point, but they’re all out and fine now,” the happy parent expressed. “They’ve had quite a tough journey, but they’re growing now and doing well. We’re looking forward to Christmas, there’s toys everywhere!”

Steven also shared his concerns about the early delivery of his children, but looked forward to reveling in the three gifts that nature had bestowed upon him and his wife.

“Our girls have been on a huge journey so far and because of that, we’re going to make sure their first Christmas will be extra special,” he stated. “We were so scared that they may not make it this far, and will therefore be really celebrating the festive season.”

Incidentally, Steven, a chef, broke the sad news about Rachel’s death on social media, so claims the Daily Mail. Police in Brantley, a subset of Cumbria in Whitehaven, are currently noting her passing as “unexplained, but not suspicious.”

After marrying in 2009, Mrs. Park, an administrative manager, and Steven desperately attempted to conceive a child to no avail. Following three failed attempts with in-vitro fertilization (IVF), a fourth try during the summer of 2015 bore positive results, with Rachel finding out about a month and a half into her pregnancy.

“At six weeks, I found out I was pregnant at last,” she stated last month in another interview. “At first, they only found two heartbeats, so we were over the moon to be expecting twins.”

Two weeks after the discovery, doctors informed Rachel that another heartbeat had been discovered, and that her twins were actually non-identical triplets. Understandably, the new mother was a bit shocked at the news at first.

“Last Christmas, we began buying things for them,” Park continued, “a [stroller] for three, three Moses baskets.”

By the sixth month of her pregnancy, Rachel began to show signs of pre-eclampsia, an occasionally fatal malady that can cause certain organs, such as the kidney and liver, to shut down. Initially set for a June 12 birth, Park, a known diabetic, was ordered by doctors to check in to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary for an emergency cesarean in March.

“There were so many people in that room,” Steven remarked, “about 26 [in total]. They lifted the babies up one by one and a team was allocated to each one.”

Once delivered, Poppie, Hollie, and Evelyn weighed 1 lb. 9 oz., 1 lb. 7 oz., and 1 lb. 6 oz., respectively.

“They let me touch Poppie [and] I kissed her on the head,” Mr. Park recalled. “It was [all] so frantic. I heard another cry, that was number two, Mollie. It was very emotional. The reality sunk in as they were rushed to the special baby unit.”

Now weighing about 14 lbs. a piece, all three infants must be fed with special tubes and require oxygen masks. Regardless of the extra care, however, Rachel Park seemed to truly look forward to her new life as a mother.

“They’re the only presents we want,” she said in her final interview. “Just [recently, we] sat on the sofa thinking, ‘they are our family.’ They [were] on our laps and we were in disbelief. It’s crazy, but we are managing.”

Friends of Rachel Park are said to be working on a campaign to help Steven raise his daughters on his own.

[Featured Image by jonathan_kay/iStock]