Just when this family thought they were through the worst, tragedy struck again.

This story is miraculous and heart breaking in equal measure.

Port Macquarie woman Jayne Wren gave birth to her baby prematurely in Fiji on 31 May, then lost her husband just days after arriving back in Australia.

And now, she’s opened up about the ordeal in a heartbreaking interview on the Today show, telling the show’s host Sylvia Jeffreys: “I lost the love of my life.”

“He adored her,” she said, speaking through tears. “He really was so excited to be a daddy.”

Mrs Wren and her husband Ashley were holidaying in Fiji for a friend’s wedding when she unexpectedly went into labour in the back of a taxi.

Maddison Jayne Cazna Wren was born at 33 weeks, weighing 1.7kg — and 

Mrs Wren told Today show that after Maddi’s birth: “Ashley looked at her and he looked at me and he said,’I’m going to work so hard for you, to take care of you’.”

“He was so proud, he was so proud of her,” Mrs Wren said.

But the new parents soon faced another dilemma: Their travel insurance did not cover the cost of having a baby in Fiji, or of bringing the baby home which required a doctor-assisted trip.

Jayne and Ashley started an online campaign to help raise money so they could bring their new baby home, and the community of Port Macquarie rallied around the couple.

On June 19, they were able to fly the family home.

Ashley in the hospital with Maddi.

That’s where the story should have ended: with Jayne, Ashley and their newborn, back in Australia surrounded by friends and family. Safe. Secure. Happy.


But one week after they arrived back in Australia, the unthinkable happened.

Mrs Wren told Today: “I just looked over onto the lounge room and he fell off the couch… And I said to him: “are you okay, Ash?’

“And he didn’t make a sound, he just fell onto the floor,” she said.

Ashley Wren had suffered a heart attack. He died within an hour, after spending just 27 days with his beloved little girl.

Following his tragic death, the family wrote on their fundraising website:

Along with the expenses relating to Maddi’s stay in hospital, we are now seeking to raise funds to provide for Maddi and Jayne. Ashley was the family provider and was in the process of applying for a Life Insurance Policy two hours prior to his passing. Jayne is in no position to return to work anytime soon and in her grief, we are looking to provide financial relief to enable her to care for Maddi and heal her crushed and broken heart.

The family raised $20,000 to help bring Maddi back to Australia. Since Ashley’s death, that number has reached $94,000.

Ashley Wren, a high school teacher, was a much-loved member of his community. And just as support had flowed in when the couple needed help to bring their baby home, the community has again rallied around Jayne and baby Maddi.

“We have incredible, incredible (support). It’s overwhelming,” Mrs Wren told Today.

“I don’t even know where to begin to start and thank people. It’s overwhelming,” she said.

Our thoughts are with Jayne and Maddi.

Watch the video here:

To visit their fundraising page, visit Maddi and Jayne at

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