May 11th 2016, a pregnant 26 year old woman Sarah Iler of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, who was one day past her due date and was already dilated was driving to the hospital with her estranged husband, 34 year old Matt Rider on Wednesday morning to have her baby.
The couple had been estranged for awhile, but had recently reconciled and were excited to meet their first child together, a baby girl.
However, on their way to the hospital at about 8:04am, a tanker truck crashed into a Nissan SUV, which in turn hit the couple’s vehicle, a Blazer. The couple’s Blazer overturned and threw them out of the vehicle instantly killing Iler. Knowing the mother was dead, emergency personnel performed CPR to give the baby girl, Maddyson, a chance to live.
Iler was taken to Saint Francis Medical Center, where an emergency cesarean section was performed on her. Her daughter, Maddyson was born 4 pounds and 15 ounces and was immediately put on a ventilator, Kasandra Iler, Sandra’s sister said. The baby was small enough that she needed special treatment.
Fortunately, by Friday afternoon, Maddyson opened her eyes and grabbed a nurse’s hand after she was taken off the ventilator. It is not certain whether the child suffered any brain damage due to a lack of oxygen within the time her mum died.
Kassandra Iler said:
“The thought never once entered my head that that baby might die”. “I felt my sister gave her life to save this baby. That’s how God wanted it. We’ve been calling her our little miracle.”
Her estranged husband who was a passenger in the vehicle seems to be doing better. All of his limbs and a few ribs were broken, and he’s endured several surgeries. Kasandra Iler said Iler’s family has not traveled to see him at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, where he was taken after the collision but that pictures have served as the replacement for a face-to-face meeting.
Sarah Iler’s family, sisters Kansandra Iler and Amanda West, and her mother, Patricia Knight, are waiting to see what happens with Maddyson and Rider, but the question of who is going to take care of Maddyson is unanswered for now.
“She had her whole life ahead of her,” Knight said of her daughter. “And now the baby has to grow up without her mother. … Amanda, it’s like she’s lost her other half. You can’t tell Amanda and Sarah apart in a lot of pictures.
“Sarah, she just touched everybody’s life,” Knight said. “She was just amazing.”
A gofund me account was created to help raise money for Sarah Iler’s funeral because she didn’t have Life insurance before she died.