His world was turned upside down when his wife died of a rare form of cancer – but the grieving husband is happy that a surrogate will soon be carrying the baby they’d always prayed for.
Jake (32) and Emmy Coates (31), from Monmouth in Wales, were childhood sweethearts and tied the knot in September 2016.
Tragically Emmy, who was a primary school teacher, died from thyroid cancer in June, just 18 months after she was diagnosed – which meant she couldn’t realise her dream of becoming a mother.
But Jake plans to raise the baby his beloved wife had wanted, thanks to a surrogate who happens to be a family friend, Mirror News reports.
“Having a part of Emmy would be the best thing ever. I know how much she wanted to be a mom,” he says.
When a former schoolmate, Liz Begg, read a touching blog post Emmy had written about how she wouldn’t be able to conceive, she jumped at the opportunity to carry the despairing couple’s little one.
“She was meant to be a mom,” Liz says. “And I want more than anything to help her legacy live on in a child.”
Jake and Emmy, who were excited about the prospect of becoming parents, quickly made a doctor’s appointment. Nine embryos were created with their eggs and sperm, which were successfully planted into Liz.
Three weeks later the couple found out they were going to be parents – but Emmy died just hours later with her family by her side. “She died blissfully in the knowledge we were going to have our baby,” Jake says.
But then Jake received bad news: doctors told him the surrogate’s pregnancy was ectopic – which is when an egg implants itself outside the uterus – and that the baby wouldn’t survive.
“I think this news gave Liz and I comfort that this first little foetus or baby had gone with Emmy and she could bring it up in heaven if there is such a place,” he says.
But Jake didn’t give up hope and decided to ask specialists to implant another embryo in Liz. The procedure is scheduled for later this month and Jake hopes he’ll be holding his little one soon.
“I still talk to Emmy every day,” he says. “I like to think she’s somewhere, looking down and checking in and listening. And that’s why I want to do her so proud."
The Welshman says he misses his late wife every day and remembers how eager and excited he was the night before their wedding.
"There wasn't a day that went by when we were together that I didn't pinch myself . . . We made the best team. Miss you more than ever my gorgeous girl," Jake wrote on Facebook.
The two met when they were 11 and 13 years old and were soon smitten. Even when Jake worked in Australia as a doctor and they found themselves halfway around the world from each other, they always found a way back to keep their relationship alive.
They often travelled back and forth between the UK and Australia and Facetime became a regular occurrence.
After finally settling down together in Wales, the couple had planned a romantic getaway in the Philippines – but their world came crashing down when Jake felt a lump on Emmy’s neck.
She was diagnosed with a rare form of thyroid cancer that spread to her spine, lungs, liver and bones. The brunette beauty peacefully passed away on 16 June with her family and the love of her life by her side, Mirror News reported.
"Watching your wife die in front of you is incomprehensibly hard,” Jake says.