Isobel Barnes didn’t want her husband’s untimely death to keep her from nurturing their dream of having a family.
Barnes, 22, was heartbroken when husband Luke, 34, was diagnosed with heart muscle disease in 2019.
Over time his health continued to worsen, and he was placed on the list for a heart transplant in March 2022.
By November 2022, Luke was kept in the hospital full-time as he waited for a heart and had a BiVAD (biventricular assist device) administered in December to help pump blood through his heart.
He passed away peacefully after suffering a catastrophic hemorrhage and multiple organ failure due to excess bleeding from a BiVAD failure on March 17, 2023.
But before Luke passed, the Barnes’ decided to save his sperm so that Isobel could continue their family the way they had always dreamed of.
“We always knew he was facing death so we could still continue our family,” Isobel told SWNS. “A lot of people are not that lucky.”
After Luke’s passing, the grieving widow decided to honor her adventure-loving husband and traveled around Australia and Bali for two months by her sky diving and taking an air balloon ride.
She spent their first wedding anniversary on a beach in Bali looking at the stars in June 2023.
“It was very bittersweet,” she said. “I stayed in the bubble hotel on our anniversary and looked at the stars. That was special.”
But since returning home to Nottingham, England Isobel has “really struggled” as “the reality sinks in.”
“I have to recreate my own life,” she said. “Everything reminds me of him.”
Now that she’s back, Isobel wants to start the IVF process within the next 12 months.
“I can’t wait to bring a little Barnes into the world,” she said.
Although she hasn’t started the process, her family is already excited for the little one to come.
“Everyone talks about baby Barnes even though he’s not here yet,” Isobel said.
She’s aware that “the conception of a child after death” is “so taboo” but she’s grateful to have the opportunity for such a “precious gift.”
She’s already even begun making and buying clothes for her unborn child.
“I’ve knitted the wardrobe out with kids’ clothes, and I have one with the word daddy on it,” Isobel said.
While Isobel is very excited to welcome a child, she knows it will all be very emotional without Luke.
“It’s heart-wrenching to see couples with pregnancy announcements or coming out of hospital with their babies,” she said.
“I wonder if it’s selfish to bring a child into the world without that, but baby Barnes will have a dad. He’s just not here anymore but he’ll know about him.”
“Of course, the only thing I want to do for the rest of my life is make my husband proud.”
And it seems like Isobel has already done a good job at that sharing his story on social media.
“So many people have said they are now donating their blood or planning to donate their organs one day.”