To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Woman's husband diagnosed with terminal cancer the same day she found out she was pregnant

Woman's husband diagnosed with terminal cancer the same day she found out she was pregnant

Baby Ophelia was born just three weeks after her dad's death

A dad-to-be sadly passed away before meeting his daughter after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer on the same day his wife learned she was pregnant.

Jonathon Wells and his wife, Sarah, were both due to become parents for the first time last year after they met in 2017.

Sarah and Jonathon married in 2021.
Focus Features

Jonathon wooed Sarah with his 'Gordon Ramsay'-level cooking skills, and the pair went on to tie the knot in November 2021.

The skilled cook lived with the chronic inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, but his condition was managed well and he was 'full of energy and fun', Sarah explained. It came as a shock, then, when Jonathon began experiencing severe abdominal pain the month after his marriage to Sarah.

Five months later, in May 2022, a scan revealed a tumour in his bowel.

The couple initially thought Jonathon would 'be okay' after undergoing surgery, but just days later further tests showed the cancer had already spread and could not be cured.

On that same day, Sarah discovered she was pregnant with their first child.

Sarah and Jonathon met in 2017.
Focus Features

“It was a bittersweet day," she recalled. "We were heartbroken at the diagnosis yet thrilled to be having a baby. Jonathon couldn’t wait to be a dad and I believe that’s what kept him fighting for so long.”

Medics arranged for monthly scans to take place, and throughout the process Jonathon stayed involved in the pregnancy and watched his wife's bump grow.

Learning they were having a daughter, the pair chose the name Ophelia for their little girl.

Jonathon was in and out of hospital, but Sarah said he remained 'incredibly strong'.

"Whilst he was having chemo, he decorated the nursery. Another day, with a picc line in connected to chemotherapy, he cooked a family barbeque," she said.

“His resilience was amazing. Even on Christmas Eve, he was intending to cook Christmas dinner; he made lists and drew diagrams of the table and planning. As a chef, he was a perfectionist."

Sarah said Jonathon's resilience was 'amazing'.
Focus Features

Sarah and Jonathon's brother, Matt, ended up preparing the Christmas meal, but it thankfully received his 'rare' approval.

“For Christmas, I bought him a bracelet, saying: ‘Best Daddy ever, lots of love, Ophelia'," Sarah said.

Just two days after Christmas, however, Jonathon was readmitted to hospital and Sarah was warned he was beginning end of life care.

She stayed by his side until New Year's Eve, when he sadly passed away.

Three weeks later, Ophelia was born after being induced a week early.

Baby Ophelia was born three weeks after Jonathon's death.
Focus Features

“Jonathon couldn’t wait to become a daddy and it breaks my heart he will never meet his daughter... Ophelia is the image of her daddy, which is a comfort, but sometimes it breaks my heart too," Sarah admitted.

"I know he lives on through her, he’s looking down on us. But it feels very cruel for her to grow up without him.”

The family is now planning to honour Jonathon's memory with a number of fundraising walks to raise money for Crohn’s and Colitis UK.

Sarah commented: “There are so many people affected by Crohn's and Colitis but there isn't a cure, there aren’t many treatments, and there isn’t really anything out there for them in the way of support.

“We hope our charity walks, in Jonathon’s memory, will go some way to changing that.”

You can donate to the fundraiser here.

Featured Image Credit: Focus Features

Topics: Health, Pregnancy