Pregnant and Widowed at 21: A Latter-day Saint Woman’s Story

Kyra* knew something was wrong as soon as she turned on the lights and saw her husband, lying still in bed. “That moment is forever ingrained in my head, seeing that he just didn’t look right, that he wasn’t there. Something was wrong,” she says.  “There are no words to describe that moment.”

A Fairytale Gone Wrong

Kyra had just turned 21 years old. She and her husband, Jacob, had bought their first home two months prior, and after a prompting to begin their family earlier than planned, on Christmas day the couple had discovered Kyra was pregnant.

“Everything was exactly the way it should be. Our life was starting the way we wanted it to, we had our dream house that we were going to raise our kids in—we knew exactly what we wanted and where we were going,” Kyra said. 

But on January 11, 2018, when Kyra tried to wake up Jacob, he was unresponsive. After her initial panic, Kyra’s medical emergency training kicked into gear.

Kyra started CPR and called 911. She was put on hold for two and a half minutes before finally speaking with an operator—who then put her on hold again before she finally got through to someone who could help her. She performed CPR for 20 minutes while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. 

Kyra recalls, “I felt if I just focus then everything will be ok.” Because of that focus and the shock that naturally comes with such an unexpected tragedy, when the ambulance arrived, Kyra was able to calmly pack a hospital bag with her and Jacob’s clothes, put their dog in the kennel, call their families to meet them at the hospital, and then move to the front seat of the ambulance.

“Someone got in the front seat with me and said, ‘Are you ok? How are you feeling? Are you going to throw up?’ My brain was so turned off at that point, but the thought went through my head, ‘There’s something I need to remember. Oh, I’m pregnant,’” Kyra says. “That was the moment I [thought]: ‘I am pregnant, and my husband is dead in the back of this ambulance.’”

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