A Kansas father is left to raise his five young children alone after his wife died unexpectedly less than two weeks after giving birth to triplets.
Casi Rott, 38, had a healthy pregnancy and gave birth to triplets on Jan. 29 without any complications, ABC News reports. Tragically, a few short weeks later, she died from a pulmonary embolism, leaving her husband, Joey, and their five young children behind, the report states.
The community of Clay Center, Kansas, where the family lives, is supporting the Rotts during their time of loss. A friend of the family set up a GoFundMe account to help provide for the children, according to Cosmopolitan. Friends also are raising money for a doula service to take care of the triplets at night, so Joey can sleep, the report states.
Friends described Casi Rott as a beloved elementary school secretary and a devoted mother who will be sorely missed. The triplets, Piper, Levi and Asher, are reportedly home and doing well.
A week after giving birth on Jan. 29, Casi began experiencing severe chest pains and was rushed to the hospital, according to reports. Doctors said she had a blood clot in her lung, a possible risk associated with giving birth via C-section and having been on bed rest for several weeks.
Rott’s husband, Joey, said doctors “did tons of tests and scans and put her on all the medications that she needed to be on.” Later, she was sent home to spend time with her older children.
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“It was first time in three months she was back. She said several times it was like she never left home,” her husband said. “She was just dying to see them.”
On Feb. 7, the same day of her joyous return home, Casi began experiencing chest pains again. Joey immediately took her to the hospital, but she died a few hours later, according to the report. Joey said doctors believe Casi died from a second blood clot in her lungs.
Joey said he is grateful that their children had “a good few minutes” with Casi at home before she died. A Facebook blog about the family shows pictures of her also holding the triplets together in her arms at the hospital.
Joey told the Kansas City Star that he wants to teach their children about the legacy their mother left behind.
“I’ll tell them what she did for them,” he said. “I’ll tell them that she got to hold them and that she wishes she were here.”
“The community has been incredible,” Rott added. “It’s one big reason we moved back here.”
Hilary Thompson, a family friend who set up the GoFundMe page, also has 16-month-old triplets and feels her friend’s death keenly. The campaign has raised more than $100,000 for the family in the past few days.
“They’re a very precious family and it’s a very tough deal,” Thompson told ABC News.