Facebook.com/Brad Schmidt
Facebook.com/Brad Schmidt

Man Loses Wife and Newborn Son within Days, Asks Others to Hug Their Loved Ones before It's Too Late

Brittany Chalmers
Aug 16, 2022
05:05 P.M.

One family's home had formerly been filled with joy and excitement, but it quickly became a place of sadness and despair. An unexpected tragedy left them reeling, but thankfully, the kindness of strangers has given them new hope.


Life isn't always easy, and often, it hands us devastating blows. The loss of someone beloved turns worlds upside down and leaves people feeling heartbroken.

One dad and his beautiful family were thankful for their love and joy. However, everything changed when the woman at the heart of their home started feeling unwell.


The Schmidt family never imagined that their worst nightmare would come true. The parents, Erik and Erin, adored their three kids, Laura, Jill, and Heidi, and they lived every day with purpose.


They were surprised after discovering that Erin was pregnant with a baby she called "a plot twist." Erik shared that his wife had said: "We weren't expecting to get pregnant. God had a different plan for us."

They were delighted and couldn't wait to meet their baby boy, James. Throughout her pregnancy, 40-year-old Erin experienced back pain, but she did not give it much thought.


In June 2022, Erin's pain intensified, and the couple went to their local hospital in Fargo, North Dakota, for a check-up. Doctors then decided to send the mother to Mayo Clinic for more tests.


Baby James was delivered via c-section, and doctors discovered the shocking cause of Erin's back pain. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and was already at the most advanced stage.

The heartbroken father admitted that some days were gut-wrenching, but he stayed strong for his girls.

The family was in disbelief and knew they didn't have much time left with their beloved mom and wife. Emotions ran high, and three days later, Erin passed away.



Having entered the world at only 23 weeks, baby James had to fight for his life. The grieving family clung to the hope of his survival—tragically, he passed away two weeks later. The family shared:

"He fought until he just couldn't fight anymore, and we are grateful to have known him for those two short weeks. We find comfort in knowing that he is resting in peace alongside his beautiful mom, Erin.


The Schmidts went from being a family of six to a family of four in a short space of time, and it devastated them. They were heartbroken and struggled to pick up the pieces. Thankfully, their community stepped in to help.


Erin was a teacher, and everyone who knew her loved her. Erik couldn't believe the overwhelming support from friends, family, and strangers. He expressed:

"It doesn't bring back Erin or James, but it is, I guess I can't put into words the amount of support I've gotten from my family and the community that we live in."


The heartbroken father admitted that some days were gut-wrenching, but he stayed strong for his daughters. Erik said: "It's what Erin would want me to do. It's hard ... but my three girls are my life right now."


Erik hoped his family's story would encourage others to go to the doctor regularly. He also wanted people to hug their loved ones and not take them for granted. He added:

"You tell them how much you love them for me, and don't take any of those moments for granted."

A GoFundMe page was started for the family to help cover their expenses. By mid-August 2022, more than $36,000 had already been donated by kind donors.



Community member Lisa Hendrickson said it was time to give back to Erin for all she did in their area. She also described Erin as "fun, loving, and caring." Hendrickson continued:

"[Erin] was a role model to the students she worked with in school. Family was amazingly important to her. When asked to do something she was more than willing to give up her time."


A fundraiser was also arranged in honor of Erin and James. Many people showed up to pay a tribute and remember the memory of two beautiful souls. One of the fundraiser attendees shared:


"Numerous people have gathered to show love and support for Erin Schmidt’s family. They are honoring Erin. We’ll hear from people about this incredible woman and how much she meant to the community."


While they still felt the pain of their loss deeply, the encouragement and love from everyone helped the family. Netizens sympathized with the devastated father and offered their condolences:

"Prayers for you, three girls, family, and all those that loved your wife and the little baby boy. God is holding your loved ones in his arms. Prayers for continued strength and faith."

- (Loretta Herndon) August 15, 2022


"So deeply sorry for your losses. May they both rest in peace together in heaven now. Sympathy to you and your daughters. No words. Just know others care."

- (Deborah Schmiedl) August 13, 2022

"That got the tears flowing. I’m so heartbroken for him and his girls. I couldn’t imagine the pain of losing a spouse and the little boy you so loved and wanted. Just a tragedy."

- (Erin Clow) August 13, 2022

Our thoughts and prayers go to Erik and his family as they grieve the loss of two precious loved ones.

Click here for a story about a little boy from Illinois who tragically lost his life. Through organ donation, he saved countless others.

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