Jacob and Jessica Kuczka met years ago when their paths crossed at a museum. This year, they had a lovely March wedding on the beach, and it wasn’t long before the 26-year-olds discovered they were going to be parents to a baby boy who they named Oliver.
They were soon living in Port Royal, and Jacob had become a deputy with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. The two were planning to have a cozy Thanksgiving in.
Their change of plans began Thanksgiving morning with a nose bleed, and within a few short hours Jessica had suffered three separate seizures and was airlifted to a hospital 80 miles away.
“I was worried about Jessica and when she got into the helicopter and flew away, that’s when it hit me that this may affect Oliver, too,” Jacob told the Island Packet. “There’s two people I have to worry about now.”
Aneurysms. Jessica had two of them, and doctors had to act immediately or risk losing both her and her unborn child.
“Throughout this whole pregnancy,” Jacob said, “Jessica had always said if something happened to save the baby.”
“It’s sounds kind of morbid to me. Pick your son or your wife that you want to save. That was honest to God the hardest time of my life.”
Oliver was born weighing 4 pounds, 9 weeks before his original due date. Being premature, he had to fight to beat the odds, but both he and his mother are still fighting.
Despite having lost much of her memory, Jessica still said “I love you” when her husband brought Oliver to see her for the first time.
“I know she knows that’s our son,” the father and husband said. “That was the happiest time of my life. Meeting her and marrying her are always going to be great milestones, but that was the best.”
In a GoFundMe set up for the young family, Jacob gave an update on his wife’s condition. “My beautiful wife, Jessica remains in the NSICU,” he wrote. “As of today, Jessica was able to visit our son, Oliver for the first time since he’s been born.”
“Although Jessica still struggles neurologically, you can see the emotional connection expressed on her face. While visiting Oliver, Jessica could not mentally grasp the reality of having given birth to a beautiful baby boy.”
“Upon returning to her room, Jessica and I talked and I asked her some simple questions. She was unable to communicate with me and still doesn’t really know what she has been/is going through. Each and everyday I show Jessica pictures from our wedding, pictures of our families, and pictures of Oliver in hopes it will help her in her journey to recovery.”
“At first she didn’t know much of it,” Jacob explained, according to the Island Packet. “But the last couple of days, she has started recognizing some people.”
An update on Dec. 10 to the GoFundMe page from Jacob says Jessica is continuing to improve and gain pieces of her memory back.
“Neurological surgeons confirmed everything looks great, her surgeries worked 100%, and there are no more complications with her brain,
” he wrote. “Jessica continues to visit our son, Oliver at least once a day. Although Jessica still struggles neurologically, she now understands and remembers Oliver is our son. Jessica’s speech has been the biggest improvement as she can now hold a conversation for the most part.”
“Jessica, Oliver, and I truly appreciate all the love and support!” he continued. “I ask that everyone please continue to pray for us during our long road to recovery.”
As of writing, the GoFundMe page has received over half of its $25,000 goal, and for now the family is doing okay, even though they have a long way to go.
“Honestly, I can’t imagine anything more devastating than what we’ve been through and what we’re still going through,” Jacob admitted. “But, no matter how hard it gets, there’s always a way to make it out.”
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