A seemingly healthy mother who was nine months pregnant with her second child has suddenly died at home along with her unborn baby.
Janay Johnstone, a 31-year-old photographer from Auckland, has been mourned by family and friends on social media after a death made even more tragic by the fact that much of her work involved helping families of sick and deceased children.
Ollie Dale, the president of the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography of which Ms Johnstone was a member, has created a Give A Little page to raise money for her grieving husband Mark and three-year-old son.
‘As far as I know she had no health issues, it was completely unexpected and she was a vibrant and bubbly person,’ he told the New Zealand Herald.
Janay Johnstone, a 31-year-old photographer from Auckland, has been mourned by family and friends on social media after her unexpected death
Ms Johnstone (left) and her unborn baby died at home unexpectedly and she was found by her husband Mark (right)
‘She was found at home by her husband slumped over and had passed away and, sadly, was nine months pregnant.’
Mr Dale described the talented photographer as ‘bubbly and vivacious with a heart of gold’.
The 31-year-old ran her own business, Tee-Jay Photography, where she combined her passion for photography with her love of motherhood.
‘My passion for newborn photography started with my son, the moment I watched my son being photographed as a newborn, I thought would be the best job in the world,’ the Facebook page says.
‘Working with the most precious little miracles, what more is there to love.’
‘My aim is to always capture your precious little bundle in a way your heart will melt every time you look at them.’
The 31-year-old (left with husband) ran her owned her own business, Tee-Jay Photography, where she combined her passion for photography with her love of motherhood
Ms Johnstone shared numerous updates to her Facebook throughout her second pregnancy, including an ocean photoshoot where she embraced her growing belly.
In mid-February, her family hosted a baby shower to celebrate the little girl she was nurturing and Ms Johnstone wrote: ‘please don’t make me wait longer’.
Mr Dale launched the funding page to give the community’s photographers a way to donate money to her grieving family.
‘It is with deep regret that we mourn the passing of Janay Johnstone,’ the page says.
‘A wife, a mother, a photographer; Janay was a wonderful mum to her beautiful boy and so excited to meet her wee girl due this month.’
Mr Dale said Ms Johnstone volunteered for Heartfelt, a charity where photographers visited hospitals to photograph babies who were severely ill or had died during birth.
‘A wife, a mother, a photographer; Janay (pictured) was a wonderful mum to her beautiful boy and so excited to meet her wee girl due this month,’ the Give A Little page says
‘Among her other endeavours, Janay was a Heartfelt photographer, giving herself and her precious time for other families who suffered their own tragic losses,’ Mr Dale wrote.
‘If you would like to donate to help Janay’s husband Mark and Janay’s family, please do so here. All funds go directly to Mark.’
Almost 200 people had donated to the page by Friday morning, raising over $10,000.
Social media has been inundated with messages of support to Ms Johnstone’s mourning husband and son amid the tragedy.
‘No words can express the amount of sadness this brings. All my love to you and your beautiful son,’ one wrote to Ms Johnstone’s husband.
‘Words can’t express what you are all going through right now. Janay was such a beautiful kind and caring soul. We send our love and condolences to the family,’ wrote another.
You can donate to the Give A Little page here.