A young couple celebrating their honeymoon in Fiji were struck by tragedy as the new bride, Kelly Clarke, 24, died of bilateral pneumonia.
Family in Australia were desperately attempting to raise money for a medical evacuation for Kelly, initially diagnosed with typhoid, but sadly the newly graduated nurse passed away just hours before a medical evacuation could take place.
She left behind a grieving family and 28-year-old husband, Chase Clarke. Chase spoke to Seven news, sharing a final touching message to Kelly.
“I just love you and wish you were here,” Chase said.
“No person will be the person that you are and no one will ever be the person what you were.”
Newly widowed Chase also told media after he lost his wedding ring, the couple decided to get two sets of matching wedding tattoos (pictured below). Chase went on to explain that we now wears both rings.
The 28-year-old has also opened up to the Courier Mail about the devastating moment he had to identify his wife's body.
“That’s not something I ever envisaged doing, that image is now in my mind," he said, of seeing his wife's body in a container with four other bodies.
“It was disgusting, hospitals there are not quite third world but conditions are basic."
“It’s a different culture, I feel sorry for the Fijians. Nothing I can say will ever bring back Kelly."
“I blame myself, the guilt is heavy, no one else, had we not gone to Fiji on our honeymoon, she might still be alive today, I will always wonder.”
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The body of Kelly Clarke was flown home on Monday. The cost to get the young woman's body home from Fiji is expected to have been over $60,000 and will be covered by a combination of insurance and funds from the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Kelly's sister started a GoFundMe page when her sister was first admitted to the hospital, asking for monetary help to bring Clarke home to be treated. Sadly, this opportunity never came.
The page has raised over $50,000 while will be donated to Kelly's grieving husband.
Chase and Kelly's family are now planning her funeral, just six months after the couple was married.
Kelley Clarke had been a registered nurse at Westmead Children's Hospital.
"Kelly was a dedicated nurse who loved working with children and will be greatly missed by her colleagues and patients," a hospital spokesperson shared.
The family must now begin the painful job of planning their daughter's funeral.
Our thoughts are with her family at this heartbreaking time.