Sask. community mourns sudden death of 30-year-old curler during childbirth
Published Wednesday, October 23, 2019 11:09AM EDT
TORONTO -- A close-knit curling community in Saskatchewan is mourning the death of a popular curler who suddenly died during childbirth.
Aly Jenkins died on Sunday afternoon after experiencing complications during the labour and birth of her third child.
The 30-year-old’s newborn daughter remains in critical condition in the neonatal intensive care unit at a hospital in Saskatoon, according to a GoFundMe page launched by her family.
On Tuesday, Jenkins’ husband, Scott Jenkins, posted an update on Facebook about his daughter Sydney’s treatment. He said she’s being treated for an infection she was exposed to in utero and she’s still receiving antibiotics. However, his doctor has told him that her brain activity and sleep cycles are looking normal.
“So far everything is looking better hour by hour,” he wrote.
Jenkins, a Warman, Sask. resident, is being remembered by family, friends, and her community as a devoted mother and intense competitor on the ice. Jenkins was a lead for Sherry Anderson’s curling rink before her death.
On Sunday, the team posted a dedication to Jenkins on Facebook after learning of her death.
“Aly was such a strong and determined woman in everything she did! She was so full of life, always had a joke to crack, such a compassionate woman and a true competitor on and off the ice,” the team wrote. “She loved this game we play with all her heart!”
Rachel Fritzler, a former teammate and close friend of Jenkins, described her as a “fierce” competitor in the rink.
“When I first started curling with her I don’t think I ever curled with someone that competitive,” she recalled to CTV News Saskatoon on Tuesday. “I would bring some others to play and they would say to me ‘she’s really intense,’ and I would say, ‘Absolutely not. She’s intense but she’s intense when it needs to be intense.’”
Nancy Martin, another former teammate, recalled the last time she played with Jenkins in Humboldt, Sask. when they were qualifying for the famous Scotties national tournament.
“The last time Aly and I competed together, we lost the provincial title to go to the Scotties, which was Aly’s dream,” she said.
Fritzler said she would miss watching Jenkins’ as a mother with her children.
“It’s the most awful thing, but I get to watch her kids grow up and tell them what an amazing person their mom was,” she said.
Martin said she also wanted to remember her favourite things about her former teammate.
“She was honestly one of my favourite people,” she said. “Her passion for life in general, she was such an amazing soul, so funny, she would be so passionate and then she’d turn around and you’d be almost falling over with laughter.”
As of Wednesday morning, the GoFundMe page for Jenkins’ family has already raised more than $104,000 of its $250,000 goal.
“It shows how close the community is,” Martin said. “I was looking at some of the comments and posts and some of the people who donated and I know that some of those people don’t know Aly. I know they know me or they know Rachel… They may not have known Aly, but it didn’t matter.”
A funeral and celebration of life for Jenkins will be held at the Brian King Centre in Warman, Sask. on Sunday.