A mother who struggled with infertility for two years before discovering she was pregnant has died just four months after giving birth.
Taylor and Jesse Johnston, both age 29 from Victoria, struggled to fall pregnant so after their wedding in 2022 decided to go down the path of IVF.
The couple’s first round of treatment didn’t go to plan, but their second round proved fruitful and they were set to have a little girl in May.
Billie May was born on May 19. When she was just 10 days old, Taylor was told she had what doctors suspected to be cervical cancer.
“Billie was still in her first couple of months in this world when her mother started extensive hospital appointments, MRI’s, PET scans and the dreaded waiting of the unknown, but all they cared about was their beautiful baby girl was in their arms,” family members Lani and Kale Johnston wrote on a GoFundMe.
“They were so happy. Their world was complete. Then the hospital started asking for Taylor to stay overnight for more tests, the concerns grew.”
Taylor’s diagnosis was upgraded to bone marrow cancer and a GoFundMe was set up to “help little Billie and Jesse during this unknown time”. The page has now tragically been updated with a note to announce Taylor’s death.
“On September 18, our beautiful Taylor grew her wings and is now our angel always looking down on us,” it now states.
The GoFundMe has raised more than $75,000 with many leaving messages of support to the family.
Jesse took to Facebook to write a heartfelt message, adding he “never thought he’d be posting at his age”.
“My beautiful girl, you were my absolute world and always will be! You will live on through our baby girl forever. I know that you will always be watching down on us. I will thank you every day for gifting me with our Billie girl,” he wrote.
“I really don’t know what else to say other than I love you more than anything and I will always have you close to my heart. I will wear my ring every single day to remember you. “You fought so hard and I’m so proud of you. Fly high and rest in peace my angel.”
Other friends and family also rushed to add their own memories.
“Another beautiful soul taken way too soon. Rest in peace Taylor Johnston, your forever smile, contagious energy and kind spirit will live on,” one person said.
“Such terrible and heartbreaking news. Sending lots of love and strength to all friends and family back in Melbourne right now.”
One person added: “My beautiful Tay, you were the sunshine, you were everything all at once. You had a lightness about you that no one will ever replace.
“My heart breaks for your baby girl and man of your dreams.”
Her sports club – Rye Football and Netball Club – also paid tribute to Taylor.
“Taylor was loved by all those that she met and shared the court or dance floor with her. A feisty and determined defender on the court and Rye player for the past seven years,” a social media post from the club read.
“It was Taylor’s kind and positive personality that made her the ultimate teammate and friend.”