Pregnant Bride Dies From a Stroke on the Way to Wedding -- But Her Unborn Baby Is Saved

Jessica Guedes
YouTube/Inside Edition

A Brazilian woman died minutes before she was supposed to walk down the aisle, after a pregnancy complication caused her to suffer a fatal stroke on the way to her wedding. Thirty-year-old Jessica Guedes was six months pregnant and had a bright future ahead of her on the day that she was meant to get married, September 21. On the limo ride over to the church, however, things took a tragic turn.

  • The mom-to-be had reportedly been feeling fine when the day began, but soon after entering the limo, she started feeling dizzy.

    Guedes' family thought she was just experiencing some wedding day jitters when she started describing her symptoms on Saturday, according to Fox 29, In addition to feeling dizzy, the 30-year-old allegedly was having pains in her neck, which doctors later determined were being caused by a stroke brought on by pre-eclampsia and internal bleeding. 

    “I was worried because I was waiting for her at the altar and she was taking ages to come in," her fiancé, Flavio Gonçalvez, later shared.

    "A cousin of hers ran down the carpet and told me that she had passed out," he continued. "I opened the car door and she was lying down but regained consciousness to talk to me. I said to her, 'Baby, I'm here.' She replied that everything was fine, but that she had a severe pain in the back of her neck."

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  • Gonçalvez, who works as a lieutenant in the fire department, immediately sprang to action.

    "At that moment, I became a rescuer," he said, "as I have been for seven years with the fire department."

    After carrying Guedes out of the limo, Gonçalvez administered first aid and asked for help from his firefighter friends, who were attending the wedding as guests.

    From there, the mom-to-be was rushed to a state maternity hospital in São Paulo, but because her case turned out to be complicated, she was transferred to Pro Matre Paulista Maternity Hospital.

    Preeclampsia is a condition characterized by "high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, most often the liver and kidneys," according to Mayo Clinic. It usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and can occur even in women whose blood pressure was otherwise normal.

    Unfortunately, preeclampsia can also develop without any warning signs.

    “Jessica was attending prenatal care, had no high blood pressure during her pregnancy and was healthy, doing physical activity and eating well," a family relative told Fox 29.

  • Because of Guedes' serious condition, doctors were forced to perform an emergency C-section.

    Despite being only 29 weeks at the time, Guedes' baby girl was able to be saved, though by the time doctors decided to operate, her mother had been declared brain dead. Sadly, moments after little Sophia was born -- weighing just 2.05 pounds and measuring 13.5 inches long -- Guedes passed away.

  • As earth-shattering as this news was, it wasn't the only hard blow Gonçalves was dealt this weekend.

    Shortly after his fiancée passed away, the grieving dad was told that his health plan wouldn't be able to fully cover medical expenses. Luckily, though, friends and family have since rallied behind the new dad and set up a fundraiser to help raise money to cover the expenses.

    Guedes' family requested that her organs be donated before she was laid to rest.

  • Goncalves has been struggling to come to terms with the fact that the love of his life is gone, and he is now a single father.

    The new dad told reporters that his fiancée was a "cheerful person who loved life, an enlightened and strong being of light."

    "I was so looking forward to becoming her husband and becoming a father," he said. "I will be strong and I will not weaken in the face of adversity. The love of my life taught me how to respect and treat a woman well so that I could learn how to take care of our daughter."

    Just days after his entire world changed, Goncalves says he is still in disbelief.

    “I still can’t believe this has happened. It seems like I'm in a sad movie, and you cry, cry, cry, but leave the movie theatre knowing it was just a movie," he shared. “However, in my case, the movie will never be over, and the suffering will go on forever.”

  • For now, he's turning all his love and attention to little Sophia, who is expected to be in the NICU for another two months.

    "At the moment, the entire maternity team is prioritizing the support, comfort and attention of the families of Lieutenant Gonçalves and the patients’ [by] helping them with all necessary measures," a hospital spokesperson shared.

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