Toddler Gives Mommy Last Kiss Goodbye Before Mom Dies after Delivering Preemie Sister


Ear infections are a common reason for childhood trips to the doctor.

Fortunately, they are generally easy to treat and do not result in life-altering injury or death.

Tragically, a toddler’s last kiss goodbye to his mother before she died all began with an ear infection. Imogen Petrak was 36 weeks pregnant in July 2017.

Her son, JB, was 17 months old. Imogen and her husband, John Petrak, served in ministry together at Lifehouse Christian Church.

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She ended up in the hospital, not because of labor contractions, but because of her ear infection.

The infection spread to her brain, resulting in brain damage and severe swelling.

Imogen described herself on Facebook as a “woman, a Christian, a wife and a mother.” Even as she was dying, she exemplified strength in those roles.

One of the last major events in Imogen’s life was welcoming her daughter into the world.

Baby Eleanor Lillian Joy was born via emergency cesarean section.

The newborn was four weeks premature and required time in the NICU. However, she was healthy, and her dad thought she had her mom’s “lips, ears, (and) hair,” according to the GoFundMe page created for the family.

Hours later, Imogen passed away from the ear infection complications. Before she died, a photo was taken of her toddler’s last goodbye to her.

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He was brought in as his mother’s vitals declined and held over her to give her a kiss. I cannot even imagine the shock, pain, and grief the family must have felt on that day.

Paul clung to God when he found himself in the position of caring for his beautiful daughter born early along with feeling the devastation of losing his wife soon after. He shared on Facebook that Job from the Bible said it best.

“Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?…In the meantime, he promises to be with me in the storms and has kept his promise today,” Paul wrote.

The tragedy was described on the GoFundMe page as “unthinkable,” which it is in many ways.

Yet in light of the tragedy, Paul has managed to direct his thinking toward God and His promises allowing the widowed father of two to feel peace in the pain.

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Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College.
Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College. Carolyn's writing has been featured in both online and print media, including Just Between Us magazine. She resides in Phoenix with her husband and children.
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