“When she went into a room, she lit up a room”: Local family spreading awareness for daughter who died of rare birth complication

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WASHINGTON, Okla. (KFOR) — “It’s the worst thing ever. It’s a battle every day,” said Lea Ann Stephens. 

Her Washington family, fighting through their toughest battle yet. 

Her daughter’s smiling face, taken from them too sudden, and too soon. 

“I re-live that moment over and over” said Stephens. 

Jacie Stephens-Cochran was 26 years old, when she went to Normal Regional to have her baby boy. 

“She made sure that she did everything right, and you know no signs or symptoms of anything” said Cale Cochran, Jacie’s Husband. 

Everything was going according to plan that day in July, until Jacie started feeling light-headed and nauseous. 

“I had a rag and I had a fan trying to get her to calm down” said Cochran. 

Then, their worst nightmare. 

“I saw a nurse run into the room and then I saw the code blue” said Stephens. 

“I was walking out and I said love you babe everything’s going to be okay,” said an emotional Cochran, “and we walked out … it wasn’t.”

Just like that, Jacie was gone. 

“They worked on Jacie for an hour and 45 minutes and she never got a heartbeat back” said Stephens, who works at Norman Regional herself. 

Jacie suffered from an Amniotic Fluid Embolism, a rare serious birth complication.

“It’s just … tough’s tough I guess” said Cochran. 

According to the Amniotic Fluid Embolism Foundation, the mortality rate is high, ranging anywhere from 20-60%. 

Through it all, Jacie delivered a miracle. 

Jaxon was born healthy, and with his mother’s eyes. 

“He’s just the perfect baby he wakes up smiling. He’s just like his mamma” said Cochran. 

The bundle of joy is the reason most days, the family can get out of bed. 

“He is our saving grace because if we didn’t have him it’d be … he’s what keeps us going” said Stephens. 

Jacie, looking over them too.

“As horrible as it is that she’s not here, she’s making sure that we get up every morning and taking one step forward … and try not to take any steps back” said Cochran. 

It’s not just Jacie’s family left trying to pick up the pieces. 

“Everybody calls it the years of COVID, but if there’s anyone excited about a new year it’s me for sure” said Cochran, “there’s nothing that the doctors or hospital did anything wrong with … it’s just to raise awareness.”

Jacie touched countless lives. 

She spent her entire life playing softball, the game she loved most. 

Going on to play in college, at Emporia State University. 

She was an athlete, a leader, but most of all … a loyal friend. 

“When she went into a room, she lit up a room” said Stephens. 

So much so, that her Senior High School Class planted a crepe myrtle in her honor. 

One day the flowers will bloom pink, Jacie’s favorite color. 

“She just led the entire, led the entire field you could hear her voice from about a mile away” said Cochran. 

Each season when a new team runs out onto the Washington Softball Field, they’ll read a freshly painted sign that captures it all, “Live Jacie Big.”

“She exemplified … to live life to the fullest” said Stephens. 

A bench was also dedicated to Jacie in Cashion, where Cale is a football coach. 

She was also an organ donor, and has already touched lives through her donations as well. 

The family says their communities have come together and supported them so well through this impossible time. 

There is a GoFundMe campaign set- up if you would like to donate.

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