Cloe and James were young and in love. While women tend to be the more baby-minded gender in a committed relationship, James was always the one who talked and dreamt about having kids — and lots of them. He was a big guy with a heart of gold, and lots of love to give.
When Cloe Green was just 17 years old, she and James had their first child, a son named Leo. It came as quite a shock, but the UK couple quickly realized they made great parents.
After the birth of their second son, Levi, Cloe and James were sure that they wanted a big, happy family.
Two years later, Cloe was pregnant with Oliver, and their first daughter, Megan, arrived shortly after. They were thrilled about having their first girl.
After Megan’s birth, Cloe says James “would wink at me and smile and say, ‘Just one more, Clo.'”
Soon after, Miley arrived. But Miley was born with cerebral palsy and required special care, and so Cloe and James decided their family was complete.
Cloe was fitted with a contraception implant to prevent any further pregnancies.
But as fate would have it, Cloe’s implant failed. She was unexpectedly pregnant once again.
“James said it was meant to be for us to have more babies,” she says.
Lacey and Lexi were born, also with cerebral palsy.
In 2015, the couple discovered they were pregnant again!
James, just like with all of the other pregnancies, was ecstatic. Every time he saw Cloe’s growing baby bump, he would light up.
With baby Elijah marking their eighth child, the couple agreed that their family was officially complete. This time, they meant it!
James was described as a Super Dad who was fully committed to tending to and caring for his brood. With eight growing kids, there was never much downtime — and James was more than up to the job.
While Cloe was a full-time mom, James worked remotely so he could help with his kids and pay the bills.
“He’d do the school run, then go to work at the café before picking the kids up,” Cloe said. “Then, he’d sit and play games and read until bedtime. He had so much energy.”
Twelve weeks after welcoming Elijah (pictured above) to their family, one particular evening began like any other. Cloe and James went to bed, and everything seemed normal.
James woke up around 4.30 a.m. and was acting strangely. He sat upright in bed, went into a “fit” and stopped breathing.
Cloe performed CPR on her husband, right there in bed, before paramedics arrived and took over.
“I wanted to scream and cry but knew I needed to keep calm,” Cloe said.
James died suddenly in his sleep. He was just 31 years old.
Since James was a seemingly healthy person, Cloe and the entire community waited anxiously for the coroner’s test results to see what on earth could have caused his death.
James died from hypertensive heart disease. When he shot up in bed and had a “fit,” he was most likely suffering from angina, or chest pain.
Hypertensive heart disease refers to heart problems that occur because of high blood pressure that is present over a long time. It is the leading cause of illness and death from high blood pressure.
According to Medicine Plus, people can suffer from this condition without even knowing it; oftentimes, there are no symptoms with high blood pressure.
All adults should have their blood pressure checked on a regular basis.
James’ death was sudden and shocking. Loved ones banded together to support Cloe — now a devastated 27-year-old widow and single mom of eight kids.
“In my darkest moments, I wondered how on earth I would do this without James,” she said. “But I looked at those eight little faces, all depending on me, and I knew I had to do this for them and for James.”
In honor of James, and even in the face of such grief, Cloe dedicated herself to being the strongest parent she could be.
Cloe says the memories of James with the kids are what help her cope. “He loved being a dad more than anything and has made me a strong enough parent to face this job alone,” she said.
Together with her children, Cloe makes sure to keep James’ memory alive in simple and heartwarming ways, like blowing up colorful balloons and letting them float up to the heavens.
Cloe says she will always be heartbroken that James was taken from the family — but she is grateful that he got his wish of having their eighth child.
Following James death, Cloe’s community raised over $10,000 to help her build an outdoor garden in which her children could play.
What a brave woman to have gone through what she’s gone through and come out the other side a stronger mother than before.
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