Father of Sextuplets Suddenly Dies Doing the One Thing He Loved Most

Tragedy in Michigan today. A father of sextuplets had just set up a trampoline in his yard for his kids and was playing with them when he had a massive fatal heart attack. He was only 39. Ben Van Houten and his wife, Amy, had gained local fame after she gave birth to six children over three days. They are now 10. They also have a younger child, who is 7. The family is still reeling from the shock that Ben could have died so suddenly and so young, leaving behind so many little children.

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His father-in-law, Calvin Reimink, told MLive:

He was always spending time with the kids. Just to know Ben for even one day would be a blessing.

Ben had joked in 2004 when his babies left the hospital:

It's scary to think we're responsible now.

The family is reportedly getting help from their local church and Ben's coworkers are already trying to figure out more ways to help, but no doubt this will be a hugely difficult transition. A mother is suddenly left with seven children to care for -- and no matter how much help she gets, not having her husband and their father around will be a huge, devastating void.

It's really scary to think that Ben was just doing something any one of us does every day -- playing with his children -- when suddenly that was the end. Ben's father also had heart problems and had died at 40. But you generally don't think that is going to happen to you. Cherish every day because every day could be the last.

What a terrible tragedy and hopefully the community can rally around to help out this family.

Do you have any words for this family?

 

Image via US CPSC/Flickr

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