Sarah Harkins died from stings after disturbing a wasp nest in her yard. Paramedics were soon able to revive Sarah Harkins, but the tragedy continued when an aneurysm lingering in her brain dislodged during the trauma.
The mother of four was also pregnant. Her husband Eric must now raise their four children, one of whom was born with Down Syndrome, on his own.
“I’m thankful to the medic for giving me and the kids that chance, bringing her back enough so we could say goodbye to her,” Eric told the Free Lance-Star.
The two met while on a mission trip when both attended a Catholic university in Ohio and married in 2005. Their fifth child, a girl they’d named Cecilia Rachel, would have been born this winter. Sarah Harkins was 21 weeks pregnant.
“Her passing was so tough, because I love her so much. She’s a gift that was given from God, he knows that I needed her, and she was this amazing gift,” the grief stricken husband and father said.
“She fell unconscious and went to the hospital, and it was discovered there was a brain aneurysm, and during the trauma of it all, it burst and caused her death,” Sarah’s brother Tom Schulzetenberg told News4. Schulzentenberg said his sister had always wanted a big family. She had four young children, and another girl on the way.
Sarah Harkins’ death from wasp stings happened by an allergic reaction. Her family and co-workers have set up online donation sites to help with expenses related to her passing and the care of her four children. As of Friday morning, donations on the two sites had exceeded a total of $158,000.
“We’ve received donations from France, Germany, Japan.” Schulzetenberg said. “Pray for the children. Pray for Eric. Pray for peace and strength for them.”
Sarah Harkins would have celebrated her 33rd birthday on Saturday.
The stings caused an allergic reaction and Harkins’ face began to swell. Harkins made it to the house, where she alerted her husband to call 911. Then she collapsed.
Eric administered CPR on his wife and the paramedics managed to revive her when they arrived. But a sinister culprit undermined their efforts — the trauma caused a lingering aneurysm in the young mother’s brain to burst. She was pronounced brain dead.
Sarah Harkins’ wasp stings would be traumatizing for anyone, let alone a pregnant woman with an allergy. In extreme cases they can be fatal. But Sarah got help right away and might have survived, if it weren’t for her other condition.