A mother has died just one week after celebrating bringing her premature triplets home for Christmas.
Rachel Park, 39, passed away in the early hours of Tuesday at her home in Whitehaven, in Cumbria.
Just two days earlier Mrs Park and her husband Steven, 37, had spent their first Christmas at home with their daughters after they had finally been allowed out of hospital.
In an interview last week, the couple said the three girls, Poppie, Molly and Evelyn, who were born 26 weeks early, were the ‘only presents’ they wanted for Christmas.
Mr Park, a chef, broke the tragic news of his wife’s death on social media.
Mrs Park, an admin manager, married Steven in 2009 and they tried for six years to start a family.
They had three failed rounds of IVF on the NHS before a fourth done privately proved successful last summer.
Mrs Park found out she was pregnant at six weeks and said she was ‘over the moon’ to be expecting twins.
Poppie, Mollie and Evelyn were in Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary for over three months as they were born on March 11 at just 26 weeks.
They collectively weighed the same as two bags of sugar and were put in incubators and ventilators as their lungs were so tiny.
Mr and Mrs Park were told to ‘prepare for the worst’ but the triplets made great improvements and were allowed home for Christmas.
Speaking last week, Mrs Park said: ‘It was touch and go with all three at some point but they’re all out and fine now.
‘We were told to prepare for the worst. They’ve had quite a tough journey but they’re growing now and doing well. We’re looking forward to Christmas, there’s toys everywhere!’
She had described Poppie as a ‘diva who liked cuddles’, Mollie as ‘laid back’ and Evelyn as ‘very chatty.’
All the babies now weigh 14lb each and still need oxygen and tube feeding.
In the interview last week, Mr Park said: ‘Our girls have been on a huge journey so far and because of that we’re going to make sure their first Christmas will be extra special.
‘We were so scared that they may not make it this far, and will therefore be really celebrating the festive season. They’re the only presents we want.
‘We just sat on the sofa thinking “they are our family”. They lay on our laps and we were in disbelief.”
Police say Mrs Park’s death is unexplained but it is not believed to be suspicious.
A spokeswoman for Cumbria police said: ‘Police were called at 3am yesterday (December 27) to Beatty Road, to a report of a sudden death of a woman in her 30s. Her death is unexplained but not believed to be suspicious.’
UK Triplet and Quad Mums are currently trying to raise funds to help Mr Park as he raises his three daughters.
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