Sarah Shellenberger l.ost her husband, Scott, to an unexpected ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ in 2020. The woman’s life changed completely from that moment on.
Sarah and Scott got married in 2018 and really wanted to start a family, but because they had ɪɴꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ problems, doctors said I.V.F ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ might be their only option. The couple found a clinic in Barbados, where they began ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ in December 2019.
The second time, Sarah was accompanied by her mother instead of Scott. After the procedure was over, they flew home to Oklahoma via Toronto, where Sarah received the news of Scott’s ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ. “The first message that appeared on my phone was from one of Scott’s co-workers, letting me know that he and the student body had gathered and were praying for him,” Sarah recalled. Scott, who worked as a university professor, was teaching a class when he suffered a ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ.
The man was immediately taken to the hospital, where he was placed in an ᴀʀᴛɪꜰɪᴄɪᴀʟʟʏ ɪɴᴅᴜᴄᴇᴅ ᴄᴏᴍᴀ. A day later, Sarah arrived home and rushed to the hospital to see her husband. Doctors then told him that 41-year-old Scott, who had been perfectly healthy just a few days ago, was ʙʀᴀɪɴ ᴅᴇᴀᴅ and would not recover.
“The next few months were a ʜᴏʀʀɪʙʟᴇ whirlwind of arranging the funeral, selling our farm, finding a new job and a new house, and figuring out how to live off my teaching salary while trying to cope with the physical effects of I.V.F and with grief,” said Sarah, who works as a kindergarten teacher.
But while grieving her husband, she began to think about implanting one of the ꜰʀᴏᴢᴇɴ ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏs.
“After months of preparation and six months after Scott’s ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ, I flew to Barbados in August 2020. On August 31st, with a whole host of friends, family, and strangers praying for me and our ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏ, ɪᴍᴘʟᴀɴᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ took place. A few days later, I flew home and was excitedly waiting for the results,” he said.
On September 7, 2020, she took a positive pregnancy test and was beyond happy. “After all that Scott and I had been through together and all that I had been through on my own, I was finally pregnant.”
Sarah gave birth to her baby son Hayes Philip-Scott Shellenberger on May 3, 2021.
“He was the medicine my heart needed. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that struggling with ɪɴꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ or being widowed in my 30s would be a part of my story, but as I slowly make my way to recovery and figure out how to move forward, I’m trying my best to keep my faith that my story is not over yet,” she said.
After the I.V.F ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛs, they had one more usable ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏ, and Sarah recently tried to ɪᴍᴘʟᴀɴᴛ it, but unfortunately she was not successful, as she reported on social media and on her blog.