Jared Wilson and Caitlyn Wilson were excited to welcome their second child into this world during the 2022 holiday season. Jared dropped his wife off at the hospital in Buffalo, NY (the same hospital he works at as an anesthesiologist resident – on December 12, but little did he know that tragedy would soon strike.
In a recent interview with PEOPLE magazine, Jared explains how things went from good to bad to better to ugly to tragic over the course of 2 weeks. Concern levels first started to rise for the baby (the couple’s second son) when a resident at the hospital broke Caitlyn’s water shortly after 1:00 a.m. on Dec. 13.
According to Jared, their son’s ‘arm was somewhat above his face, in a raised position’ when the resident tried to position him for delivery – the umbilical cord was directly behind his arm. Things didn’t look good for the baby, who experienced uterine cord prolapse as the cord got pinched between his neck and head.
The condition has a high mortality rate for the baby due to suffocation, but he prevailed after the doctors performed an emergency c-section around 2:00 in the morning. By 2:12 a.m., the baby was born, he was healthy, and he was screaming – all of which were good signs. Jared could finally take a deep breath.
Unfortunately, things took a sudden turn for the worse when his wife started experiencing complications from childbirth. Everything seemed to be fine until it was time to place Catilyn on general anesthesia and intubate her. Doctors were primarily worried that fluid and stomach acid would find its way into her lungs.
Two hours passed before Caitlyn was wheeled back into her hospital room – she was in rough shape, but she was recovering. Complications continued over the next 10 days, but things took another turn for the worse when the 27-year-old was transferred to the ICU and put on ‘max support as far as oxygen goes.’
By Dec. 21 (Jared’s 30th birthday), Caitlyn was the healthiest person in the ICU and was both awake and talking to her family. She was intubated due to inflammation in her lungs, which was supposed to give her a chance to rest. Unfortunately, things went south very quickly and the intubation wasn’t working properly.
“The minute we intubated and she desaturated, we could not keep Caitlyn up. The machine is designed perfectly to match human respiratory function and it couldn’t do it,” Jared explained. For the first time in nine days, her labs were abnormal as her white blood count skyrocketed and her blood pressure dropped.
The doctors found themselves stuck – she was dehydrated and needed fluids, but pumping her with fluids increased the risk of that fluid leaking into her lungs. At the same time, she was in obstructive shock and septic shock – while fluids would worsen the obstructive shock, fluids would also treat the septic shock.
To make matters worse, blood clots were forming and she needed to be put on blood thinners, but that was dangerous because she had already lost a lot of blood from the emergency c-section. Nearly 12 hours after she was intubated, she coded for the first time. Later that night, they noticed organ damage.
Doctors wanted to put her on dialysis, but ran into another conundrum – dialysis takes fluid away from the body, but she needed fluids to treat the septic shock. By 7:00 a.m. on Dec. 22, Caitlyn coded for the second time. She was in code for three minutes when Jared stepped in and called the code for good.
“I walked into the room as they were providing compressions to Caitlyn and I asked them to stop, and I called the code. They turned off the machines, and then they left as I held Caitlyn. And that was it,” Jared said of the moment his wife died. It was a tough call for the husband, but one he knew he had to make.
Jared’s Family Moves to Buffalo to Help Raise His Sons
Jared Wilson ended up spending the next few weeks with his two sons – Lincoln, 1, and Gabriel (the newborn) – in Utah with his parents. They held a funeral for Caitlyn Wilson on Jan. 15 and his parents ended up dropping everything to move to Buffalo to help their son raise their two beautiful grandchildren.
In dropping everything, his parents decided to sell three of their houses and two of their vehicles to ensure they had everything they needed to give their son and grandchildren a quality life. Meanwhile, Jared was forced to work a 75-hour work week as a resident at the same hospital he lost his wife at.
“I watched [Lincoln] be birthed and see my wife hold him seconds after. And there’s a bond that forms with something like that to see the motherly love. Gabriel, I didn’t get to see that. They delivered Gabriel to me in a bundle that night. He could have been anybody’s baby. I hate to say that,” Jared Wilson said.
Despite the tragedy that unfolded, Jared sends his deepest appreciation and gratitude to the doctors and nurses who fought alongside his wife for 10 days. “She received the absolute best of care. And if I didn’t know all of those things, I think there would be more to grieve in not understanding how this happened.”
“But true love, as sappy and as fairytale and cheesy as it sounds, is real, and it absolutely transcends any boundary of death, life, distance, or mom, that those three years are enough for me to live the rest of my life on. And they’re enough that the boys will know of their mom,” he said of the three years he spent with his wife.
A GoFundMe page was created for those who would like to support the Wilson family.
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