By Jasmine Kazlauskas
A devastated widower has revealed for the first time the heart-wrenching lengths he took to wake his comatose wife – who tragically died just days after giving birth.
Rayan Cosme went from being overjoyed at the birth of daughter Grayan on November 20, 2017 to heartbroken when teenage sweetheart Arlene Padawag-Cosme suddenly collapsed from a catastrophic brain aneurysm four days later.
The loving mother, who had complained of a stiff neck and migraines but had no other symptoms, slipped into a lethal 11-day coma before dying in hospital on December 5 last year aged just 37.
Devoted Rayan revealed how he ‘tried everything’ to bring Arlene out of the coma, including renewing their wedding vows, christening their newborn daughter and performing an emotional serenade – all by her hospital bedside as she lay fighting for life.
Now the single dad-of-three has spoken out about the heartache of raising two eldest daughters Gracie, 10, and Gwynnete, 6, without their beloved mother while Grayan, now six months, is temporarily cared for by family in the Philippines.
Engineer Rayan, 38, said: “We were so happy when we found out we were having another baby.
“Arlene was such an amazing mother, and to have three daughters was such a blessing.
“I never could have imagined anything like this would ever happen to her.
“Arlene looked like such a healthy woman. That’s why I can’t understand it.
“Looking back, she would often experience headaches and migraines, but we never thought too much of it.
“She gave birth to our beautiful baby girl and we couldn’t have been happier.
“Everything just felt right and our family felt complete.
“Four days after having the baby, she had come home, and I was saying goodbye to her as I left for work.
“She told me she had a stiff neck, so I told her to rest and take care of herself but that afternoon she collapsed.
“When I rushed there from work she was awake and I thought she was going to be alright, but just 30 minutes later she collapsed again.
“She fell into a coma. Doctors operated on her brain straight away, but she never woke up from the surgery.
“I stayed by her bedside for eleven days until she died. I never lost hope that she might wake up.
“I did everything I could think of to wake her up. I sang our favorite songs to her and played my guitar.
“I had our daughter christened at her bedside.
“The last thing I thought of was to renew our wedding vows. I thought it might keep her fighting and keep her alive.
“I tried everything I could. But even though it didn’t wake her up, I still think it made her very happy in her last days.”
Brave Arlene was in a coma for eleven days before tragically dying in hospital due to the devastating effects of the brain aneurysm.
Tragic photographs show him renewing his vows with his cherished wife of 11 years while footage shows him serenading her with The Dance by Garth Brooks – her favourite track – as he played his guitar.
Heartbreakingly, Rayan wasn’t at Arlene’s side at the moment he passed away as he had come back to their home to run some errands.
But he said his ‘entire world came crashing down’ at the loss of Arlene and he struggled to accept becoming a single dad to his three daughters.
Rayan said: “I’d come home to do a few things and then I got a call from the hospital telling me that Arlene had passed away.
“My whole world came crashing down. I felt completely numb.
“Nothing can ever prepare you for that. I didn’t know how I could raise my kids on my own.
“I sat my daughters down and explained to them that they wouldn’t be seeing their mum anymore.
“We all just sat together hugging and crying.
“I told them that their mum will always be in our memory and in our hearts.
“My oldest daughter than asked me ‘what will we do if you die too, dad?’
“I broke down after that and just kept hugging them both.”
Arlene and Rayan first met as teenagers back in 1997 in their hometown of Baguio city in the Philippines, when Arlene became a regular passenger on Rayan’s ‘jeepney’, an iconic means of Filipino public transportation.
After discovering they attended the same university, a romance blossomed between the loved-up pair and they quickly became inseparable – eventually marrying in 2006.
And after having their two daughters, Rayan accepted an engineering job in New Zealand and the family moved to the country in 2014.
Now Rayan said he is focusing on being ‘the best single dad’ he can be to his daughters.
He said: “I’ve just tried to focus on my job and my kids, and to be the best dad I can be to them.
“It was hard to get used to, especially the first three months.
“I wake them up, make breakfast, pack their lunches, and send them to school.
“They go to a family friend’s house after school, and I’ll pick them up from work.
“Then I’ll make dinner, wash their school uniforms, make sure their bathed and tuck them into bed.
“Their smiles and laughter are what keep me going. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to deal with this.
“I think about Arlene every second. I miss her so much, and I always find myself tearing up at random times.
“She was such a beautiful person, and her spirit lives on in my beautiful daughters.
“Every time I look at them I see their mother, and it always makes me smile.”