Although Jill Schmucker had two other sons, she had never experienced normal delivery before. She has always induced labor.
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Until that particular night. “Contractions started and after a little while, I called my doctor and she said just go to the hospital,” she said.
Jill was forty weeks pregnant at the time and her husband, Tony, was sleeping in the other room. She woke him up and told him they had to go.
“He was super nervous, like, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re going to have the baby on the way there,’” she said.
Jill convinced her husband she would be okay. They roused their two boys and got them into the car. “We didn’t get very far, just right down the road, and something happened,” Jill said. “He had a seizure or some kind of brain stroke or aneurysm, they said it could be any of those.”
The car swerved off Larimer County road west of Fort Collins, collided the mountainside head-on, then rolled into a gully. She was in shock and oblivious about her surroundings. But after the shock wore off, she noticed her husband was still out cold. Her children were safe in the backseat, but she was immobilized and her back was broken.
Jill looked for her phone but realized it’s nowhere to be seen. And then she remembered her husband’s phone in his pocket. She asked her son Ryder, 6, to get his father’s phone, he found it and they called 911.
The responders cut open the car to get Jill out after they realized she had a broken back. She was brought to Medical Center of the Rockies and had an emergency C-section. “I didn’t find out what had happened officially until after I had the baby and was waiting to hear about my back so . . . I didn’t really want to know,” she said.
Tony didn’t survive the accident. Jill said her husband is a die-hard Broncos fan. The Schmucker couple even wore Broncos uniform when they reveal their youngest son’s birth on Facebook.
For her, Tony was a loving father and husband. He loved spending time outdoors, just like the typical Coloradan. Jill said, “He was such a positive person. He just always believed the best in everyone and that’s what I want them to remember,” she said. Tony did everything so his wife could stay at home with their kids, and Jill don’t know what to do now that’s he’s gone.
Their family and friends created a GoFundMe page and have already raised about $72,000 for the family. Jill is recuperating from her back injury and still can’t lift heavy items. But she can feed and care for her newborn baby Leedan. It’s a relief their two other children Ryder and Rollie, 4, only had light injuries from the car accident.