A 33-year-old Tauranga woman has tragically died during childbirth - but her baby survived with seconds to spare.
Kate Ryan will be best known for the love she had for her children, Katelyn, 7, Rayden, 13, and baby Michael - or Mikey as he is called - born on Tuesday at Tauranga Hospital.
In an exclusive interview with the Bay of Plenty Times, Kate's family told her story.
Older brother Linsay Ryan said the amniotic sac around the baby burst (known colloquially as her waters breaking). Complications meant the amniotic fluid flooded Kate's blood stream and then her heart leading to her death.
Medical staff then delivered the baby and Linsay said doctors told the family Mikey came within 30 seconds of also dying. He was not breathing when born and had to be resuscitated.
What was supposed to be a small service for those who loved Kate yesterday at Hope Family Funeral Services swelled to more than 100 people paying their last respects.
Linsay said, growing up, he remembered walking with his sister through the Hutt Valley in Wellington.
"Kate was always a real girlie girl. I remember she would have her little purse, her tacky makeup and walk around strutting her stuff and she was so proud of it."
However, he said she grew up into a real free spirit.
"One day she would be baking for the kids, the next you would see her at a concert. Kate could walk into any room with anybody and she would fit in. She could be shy, but she really had a presence to her. When Kate spoke, you heard it.
"If anybody ever needed anything she would be the first person there offering a helping hand, whether it was $5, a cup of tea or to feed and bathe your children."
The love Kate had for others in her life was evident in her last moments, he said.
"If Kate was conscious when that happened, when she gave birth, I know for a fact that if she was given the opportunity of the baby surviving or herself, she would have gone for the baby," he said. "Even though she loves her two kids Rayden and Katelyn so much, the toughness of her would have said, "na, it ain't happening".
Linsay said there had been some complications with Kate's pregnancy so an induced birth had been planned a month early.
She would be best remembered for the love she had for her children, that was the biggest thing in her life. First and foremost a mum, that was her life.
"I caught up with Kate on Sunday down in Memorial Park, had all the kids and had a good catch-up. I said to Kate, 'I've got to work on Monday but I will come up Monday night and see you.' She said 'cool' but just as she was leaving she turned around and looked at me and you know when someone is petrified, she knew something wasn't right and was ... scared."
Linsay said his sister was always daddy's girl. "Even if she was in the wrong, Dad would be there for her."
She was fondly known as 'Katie' to her father Michael Ryan, he said.
"Through thick and thin my father stood by her. He stood there and did everything for her. He was definitely her rock, through anything.
"The kids, the boyfriends, everything. He was always the one guy she would turn to and he would never ever do her wrong. Every time he would put things right for her. He even lived with her the last few years to be there for her and the kids. Nobody did anything for Kate like her dad."
Kate's older brother John Ryan said his sister was one of a kind. "You don't come across people like Kate every day in your life."
They shared a strong bond through their passion for the same music.
"She was my number one fan. It gave me so much strength as a front man, as a vocalist. Her support she gave me as a musician, just believing in me."
John said although music was her passion, her life was her children.
"She would not be impressed with how things panned out, not at all. To leave her kids, she would be gutted."
Kate's sister-in-law, Nicole Ryan, said as hard and as rough as Kate appeared to be on the outside, her personality on the inside was very different.
"She liked to have an image; she'd show people how tough she was. When it was just Kate, she was was very soft and softly spoken. Family was very important to her, her kids and other people's kids. Wherever you were, all the children would just gravitate to Kate.
"She would be best remembered for the love she had for her children, that was the biggest thing in her life. First and foremost a mum, that was her life.
"She was so excited about the new baby, they were about to move into a new house ... "
Kate was with her partner Mike Riedinger.
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