A pregnant bride died from a stroke minutes before reaching the altar, leaving her groom a single father to their newborn daughter who was delivered by emergency caesarean.
Nurse Jessica Guedes, 30, was six months pregnant and apparently healthy when she began to feel ill while in the limo on the way to the church on Sunday in São Paulo.
At first her family thought she was suffering from anxiety about the ceremony after she complained of feeling dizzy with pains in her neck.
They were unaware the victim was suffering from the preeclampsia which would shortly rob her of her young life and motherhood.
Jessica Guedes on her wedding day in São Paulo, Brazil. She suffered a stroke and died on the way to the altar
Flavio Gonçalvez was left a single father to his newborn daughter on his wedding day after fiancee Jessica Guedes suddenly collapsed on the way the ceremony
Mr Gonçalvez with his newborn daughter who was born by emergency caesarean following his fiancee’s tragic death
She was declared brain dead by doctors shortly after arriving at hospital.
Her fiancé, firefighter Lieutenant Flavio Gonçalvez, 31, who was already waiting at the altar, was surprised by the delay.
But when she arrived a relative rushed into the venue pleading for help after the first time mum-to be passed out in the car.
In an interview with Brazilian Crescer Magazine, the groom said: ‘I was worried because I was waiting for her at the altar and she was taking ages to come in. A cousin of hers ran down the carpet and told me that she had passed out.
‘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. At that moment, I became a rescuer, as I have been for seven years with the Fire Department.
‘I took her out of the limo, started first aid and asked for help from my firefighter friends who were there as guests.’
Jessica Guedes was six months pregnant and apparently healthy when she suddenly passed away on her wedding day (left) and (right) showing off her baby bump during her early days of her pregnancy
Firefighter Lieutenant Flavio Gonçalvez and nurse Jessica Guedes were due to get married on Sunday until tragedy struck
Jessica was taken to a state maternity hospital in central São Paulo. However, due to the complexity of the case, she was transferred to the private Pro Matre Paulista Maternity Hospital.
According to the medical report, the mother had a stroke, due to preeclampsia and internal bleeding that meant surgeons were forced to remove the uterus.
Given the severity of the case, the medical team performed an emergency caesarean section to save the 29-week-old baby’s life and the young mum, who had been declared brain dead, passed away after the operation.
Sophia was born weighing 2.05lbs and13.5 inches (930 grams and 34 centimeters) and is in the neonatal intensive care unit. She is likely to be in hospital for at least two months.
A relative of the victim, said: ‘Jessica was attending prenatal care, had no high blood pressure during her pregnancy and was healthy, doing physical activity and eating well.’
In a statement, the hospital confirmed that Jessica Guedes was admitted to Maternity last Sunday.
An emergency caesarean was carried out after Ms Guedes collapsed. Pictured (left) is Mr Gonçalvez with his daughter moments after the operation and (right) the newborn reaching out to touch him
Firefighter Flavio Gonçalvez (right) tried desperately to save his fiancee (left) when she collapsed on their wedding day
‘At the moment, the entire Maternity team is prioritising the support, comfort and attention of the families of Lieutenant Gonçalves and the patients’ (by) helping them with all necessary measures.’
A video of the last moments of the bride show her happily waving to the camera in her gown on her wedding day.
But within a few hours she was dead, and her groom was left with bitter sweet emotions as he learns to come to terms with the loss of his bride while taking comfort in the birth of his child.
Images capture the incredible moment the premature child responds to her father’s voice by opening her eyes, turning to look at him and seemingly reaching for him with an outstretched hand that creeps out from underneath the covers.
The bereaved father said: ‘Jessica was a really 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. I will be strong and I will not weaken in the face of adversity.
Ms Guedes (right) was declared brain dead by doctors shortly after arriving at hospital after collapsing on her way to the altar to marry Mr Gonçalvez (left)
A video of Ms Guedes moments before she died showed her happily waving to the camera in her gown on her wedding day
‘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.
‘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.
‘However, in my case, the movie will never be over, and the suffering will go on forever.’ he added emotionally.
Following the unforeseen tragedy, the new father discovered that his health plan failed to cover private maternity care. But within a couple days of friends setting up an online kitty, colleagues from the military police helped raise more than the £20,000 (100,00 reais) needed to cover the expenses.
The family decided to respect with Jessica’s request to donate her organs and she was buried yesterday following the release of her body.