Woman dies before meeting baby, carried by best friend

  • 25/01/2018
Woman dies before meeting baby, carried by best friend
Photo credit: Facebook/ Gareth Arena

A mother died before she was able to meet her surrogate baby, who will now be raised by a solo father.

Bec Arena passed away in September and earlier this month, son Rixon was born - carried by her best friend Jessica Brockie.

Ms Brockie was a surrogate for Ms Arena, who suffered from cystic fibrosis, and husband Gareth.

A GoFundMe page has been started in Ms Arena's honour, to help Mr Arena raise the child and pay for the surrogacy process.

"In her own words, Bec was a nutella fiend, car karaoke queen, grammar nazi and cystic fibrosis sufferer... but to those who knew and loved her, she was so so so so much more," it reads.

"Bec was an animal lover, a wife, a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a cousin, a niece, an aunty, a best friend, a friend, a cystic fibrosis FIGHTER, an inspiration to all, and a mother to her and her husband Gareth's much longed-for baby boy."

Mr Arena now faces life as a sole parent. His wife had planned to take time off work to be a full-time mother, while Gareth would work to support the family.

"Whilst this process has given Bec and Gareth a gift no money can buy, it has still left them with huge ongoing expenses - medical bills, counselling fees, numerous flights to get Jess here from her home in South Africa, lawyers fees and so much more... Bec's passing has brought additional unexpected costs and has left Gareth facing these on a sole income," says the GoFundMe page.

"Bec was never one to talk about her hardships or to ask for help, even though she was battling personal struggles greater than we could ever truly understand. And now, even though he is now facing this huge financial and emotional mountain on his own, Gareth is just the same."

Almost $20,000 has been raised to help Mr Arena.

In a public Facebook post, Mr Arena mentioned how much his late wife wanted to become a mother.

"This is the hardest part of being a father for me, I can deal with the sleepless nights and shitty nappies. The things i would do just to be able to see him in Bec's arms."

Ms Brockie, who is married to All Whites footballer Jeremy Brockie, said that carrying baby Rixon was "an amazing journey".

Mr Brockie said he is "unbelievably proud" of his wife.

"To be able to help another family like this is so rewarding."