When Casi Rott first held her newborn triplets, she was the happiest she had ever been. Little did she know that the time she spent with them was a short moment the children would never remember.

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Casi Rott’s pregnancy was relatively smooth. She and her husband Joey did all the tests and took all the necessary steps to ensure things were in tip-top shape. They had nothing to worry about — or so they thought.

When Casi discovered that she was pregnant with triplets — a high-risk pregnancy — she was advised to take a fertility drug that would induce early labor, but she declined and chose to carry the babies until 34 weeks.

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In her third trimester, the Kansas mom temporarily moved from their rural farmhouse to Wichita to be closer to medical help in case she needed it. On January 29, 2016, Casi underwent a C-section to give birth to three healthy babies at 34 weeks, and they were kept in the hospital under strict observation.

The proud mother recovered quickly and was soon discharged; however, two days later, she woke with a sharp pain in her chest and a racing heart. Something was very wrong.

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Her husband rushed her to the hospital, and a CT scan showed that she had a blood clot in her lungs. Additional tests were run, and two days later, she was discharged once more. Thinking the worst was over, the couple headed to the NICU to hold their triplets — Asher, Levi, and Piper — for a few hours.

Afterward, they left to make a two-and-a-half-hour drive back to their farmhouse in Clay Center, Kansas, where their two older daughters, Tenley, then two, and Chloe, then 6, were waiting.

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A HAPPY GOODBYE

They left their triplets at the NICU when they left for Clay Center, thinking they would return the next day for them, but things did not go the way they planned.

When they arrived home, Casi, thrilled to be back after spending days in the hospital after the clot was found, got back into the rhythm of life as a mother. She did the laundry, folded the baby clothes, pumped breast milk, and baked some cookies.

When Joey went to pick up their daughters from daycare, he told them he had a surprise waiting for them at home, raising their expectations.

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The reunion between the mother and her daughters was an emotional one that saw them sharing a lot of hugs and tears. The girls were happy to see their mom, and Casi was also feverish with the joy reuniting with her children.

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The celebration was cut short when Casi started feeling chest pains several minutes later. She sat to rest, but Joey got her into their car and made for the nearest hospital when the symptoms remained.

He drove as fast as he could, but the situation was dire; when his wife lost consciousness in the driver’s seat next to him, she never opened her eyes again. Speaking about the tragedy, Joey said:

“My emotions were numb. It didn’t feel real at all. It was for sure the worst moment of my life.”

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The doctors tried their best at the hospital, and so did Joey, but nothing worked. Casi was lost forever. The doting husband said at the time:

“I was trying to wake her up. The [doctors] worked on her for a long time, but there wasn’t a whole lot they could do.”

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AN UNAVOIDABLE RESPONSIBILITY

Casi’s death was not easy on those she left behind. Joey described her as “perfect” — one of those special people who loved others and was always willing to help them feel better.

She worked as a secretary at the local elementary school and was known to help the kids whenever they needed something, sometimes at her own expense.

Dealing with her demise was tough, especially for their daughters, one of whom Joey admitted always talked about her mom and how she had gone to heaven.

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Things were difficult for Joey, who had suddenly become a father and mother to five kids, three of whom needed a lot of care and attention. He had to do his mourning between changing diapers, making food, and playing with his kids.

As time passed, he would wonder what Casi would do when there was a problem. One day, he realized she would have told him to step up to his responsibility as it was up to him to raise the kids in his own way.

Fortunately for Joey, who had decided to remain in the home he and his late wife shared, friends, family, and carers have been on hand to help him out with things. Well-wishers also rallied online and contributed more than $100,000 to help him.

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His parents, Barbara and Chuck, live some seven miles away from him and were kind enough to help him out with the kids. Barbara, a nurse, called the experience a bittersweet one because Casi had indeed been a daughter to her.

She also pointed out how much learning her son had to do because he only used to help his wife out, but after Casi’s demise, Barbara said, “he’s the mom and dad.”

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A PROMISE TO KEEP

Following Casi’s death, Joey refused to get rid of her things which included her numerous paintings. He confessed it was too hard for him to do; however, one thing he has no problem doing is making sure his kids are well aware of how much their mom loved them.

After their second child’s birth, she told him: “If something ever happens to me, just make sure the kids know how much I love them.”

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To that end, he keeps their memories of her alive and has continued to raise them his own way in respect to what he knew she would have wanted. Moving on after his wife’s death had seemed impossible to even fathom at the beginning, but as Joey learned, fate never sends a person a trial they would not be able to overcome.

Do you agree that a person can overcome whatever trial God sends their way? Do you think it makes us stronger? If you do, share this story with friends to praise the devoted father.

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