James Green dreamed of becoming a dad his whole life. So it was clear that he was happy when he and his wife, Cloe, found out they were going to have their first child.
The British couple chose to keep going and have more children when their second child was born.
When Cloe thought they had enough kids, James would smile and wink at her, “Just one more, Clo.”
James loved being a dad so much. James worked from home so he could spend as much time with his kids as possible, even though Cloe was a full-time mom.
James picked up and dropped off the kids at school and spent most nights with them as well.
He was caring, active, and seemed like a good dad.
When their fifth child was born with cerebral palsy, James and Cloe decided they had enough children.
Cloe went to the doctor and got an implant to help her avoid getting pregnant.
But when Cloe got pregnant again out of the blue, James said it was fate.
They had eight children after that, and they both decided that their family was finally complete.
That was until December 4, 2015, just 12 weeks after they had their youngest child. That day, everything changed in an instant.
When Cloe woke up in bed, she saw that James wasn’t breathing.
Cloe and James fell in love when they were kids. As the two got to know each other, James often talked about having kids. He planned to start early and have many children.
James was a big man who loved a lot of people.
Cloe got pregnant for the first time when she was 17 years old. It was a surprise, but she and James were very happy to have their first child, Leo.
Levi, Cloe, and James were more sure than ever that they wanted a big family after the birth of their second son.
After two years, Chloe was expecting Oliver. And soon after, their first daughter, Megan, was born.
Soon, Miley came into the world. She had cerebral palsy from birth and needed extra care.
Cloe and James agreed that their family was now complete because raising Miley meant making some sacrifices.
Cloe was given an implant that will keep her from getting pregnant again.
But fate had something else in mind. Cloe got pregnant again without planning to.
“James said it was meant to be for us to have more babies,” Cloe said.
Not long after, Lacey and Lexi were born. They too had cerebral palsy.
James was excited, just like he was with all the other babies. Now, though, the couple chose to have eight children instead.
Everyone agreed that James was a great dad. He spent all of his time taking care of the kids, which was lots of time since he had eight of them.
Cloe was a full-time mom, but James worked from home so that the two of them could give their kids their full attention.
“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.”
The terrible thing happened twelve weeks after they welcomed Elijah into their family.
Like always, Cloe and James went to bed…
But James was acting strange when he woke up around 4:30 in the morning. He was lying on his back in bed and felt nothing. He lost it and stopped breathing quickly.
Before the paramedics came and took over, Cloe did CPR on her husband.
“I wanted to scream and cry but knew I needed to keep calm,” Cloe said.
James passed away in bed. He was just 31 years old.
Hypertensive Heart Disease
People didn’t know that James had high blood pressure before.
He had hypertensive heart disease, which is a type of heart disease that happens when blood pressure stays high for a long time.
It’s possible for people with the disease to not even know they have it, which was the case with James.
No one knew how bad things were because James didn’t get regular checkups, which is something that all people should do.
The death of James was quick and shocking. People who cared about Cloe, who was left alone and sad with eight kids, came together to help her.
“In my darkest moments I wondered how on earth I would do this without James. 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,” Cloe said.
Cloe gave their children even more of her all in honor of James.
Cloe says that the stories she has about James and their kids help her deal with things.
“He loved being a dad more than anything and has made me a strong enough parent to face this job alone.”
Every day, Cloe and her kids do simple but beautiful things to remember James. For example, they blow up balloons and let them fly up into the sky.
Cloe says she will always miss a part of James’s soul. But she’s glad her husband got what he wanted, which was a big, loving family.
The people in Green’s neighborhood have done a lot to help Cloe and the kids. They also raised more than $10,000 to fix up the family garden so the kids could have a nice place to play.
Some things Cloe has had to go through are awful, and no one should have to go through them. But in many ways, the tragedy has made her stronger.
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And seeing her fight for herself and her kids is really moving.
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