Man copes with becoming a father and a widower on the same day
POSTED: Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 3:00pm
UPDATED: Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 3:04pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — An outpouring of support is growing for a Fergus Falls, Minnesota man who is enduring unimaginable tragedy after becoming a father and widower in the same day.
Trent Pederson, 31, and his wife Tami, 29, were expecting their first child in August.
The couple had been married for two years, but always dreamed of becoming parents.
"I knew she'd be a good mom because how organized she was. It's hard to put into words how good she was," said Pederson.
His wife had the baby boy's nursery ready, with clothing folded, rows of diapers, the baby's name on the wall and a baby book already filled in.
Pederson says the day before Father's Day, Tami yelled for him in the night.
He jumped out of bed to find her on the bathroom floor clutching a bottle of Tylenol.
"I asked her what is wrong," said Pederson, and said she replied: "I don't know."
Those were last words.
Tami stopped breathing in his arms.
The ambulance took her to Lake Region Hospital in Fergus Falls, and then airlifted her to Sanford Hospital in Fargo.
Life and death collided when doctors gave Pederson the devastating news.
Tami had suffered a rare massive brain aneurism and was brain dead.
A medical team rushed to save their baby by emergency C-section.
"She was such a caretaker and even in her last hour she was looking out for Jace, we don't know how he made it out," said Jamie Bertram, Tami's older sister. "She was protecting him."
Jace Jo Pederson was born June 16, 2012.
Doctors knew his mother's ordeal already put his life at risk, causing brain damage.
They performed CPR for nine minutes to get his heart to beat properly.
A medical team transported him to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis to monitor swelling on his brain.
"It's just something you don't plan for. It'd be like everybody shutting off the lights in this hospital and then you try and find your way out. I haven't found any light yet, that's for sure," said Pederson.
Jace will be hospitalized in the NICU for several more several weeks when he is stable enough to undergo surgery for a shunt.
He is also on a feeding tube until he begins to accept bottle feeding.
Bertram and other family members vow to be at Jace's side.
Bertram says doctors still don't know what caused her sister's aneurysm.
She says after her death, she looked through her sister's phone and found Tami was searching the internet for causes of "bad headaches during pregnancy", even though she told no one she had a headache that day, not even her husband.
"But, he will always know who is Mama is," said Bertram. "He's got her cheeks, her chin and her nose."
Pederson picked up Jace's tiny finger, noticing his son has his mom's same "wrinkly hands".
"I still got a little piece of Tami," he said. He also made sure Jace now also shares his mother's middle name, of "Jo."