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Luc Jacobson wants people to know how much his wife Jesse-Ann loved the Kelowna community and everyone she had met since making the move to the Okanagan two summers ago.
That much is obvious from the outpouring of support and the steady flow of donations to a GoFundMe created in the wake of Jesse-Ann’s sudden and shocking passing late last week.
"Everyone who came in contact with her loved her,” Luc told KelownaNow. “She just wanted to be people's friends and wanted to be there for them no matter what they needed and no matter how well she knew them.”
The Jacobson’s nightmare began around 2 am Friday when Jesse-Ann was rushed to the hospital with what they initially thought was a bad flu.
Luc said the paramedics got her to Kelowna General Hospital “as quickly as humanly possible” and the doctors and staff treated her and diagnosed her illness immediately upon arrival.
Unfortunately, around 12 hours after she arrived, the family was told that her brain function had been lost and her life would end when they decided to take her off the ventilator. She was just 33 years old.
Luc and Jesse-Ann made the move to Kelowna from Sherwood Park, Alta., with their three young children in August 2021.
Jesse-Ann used the move as a chance to get back into the workforce and eventually ended up getting an opportunity to manage the collaborative retail space between Tourism Kelowna and Okanagan Lifestyle Apparel in the departure lounge of Kelowna International Airport.
Luc says it was the perfect fit and brought so much joy to her life, mainly because of everyone it allowed her to meet.
“She was so happy because she got to talk to people in the airport,” he said. “She got to hear everyone’s story, where they were travelling, why they were travelling.”
And that was seemingly what Jesse-Ann was all about.
“She was just so amazing. I've just been telling everyone that she was perfect. She loved unconditionally. She had time for everyone that had time for her,” Luc explained.
“If you wanted to talk to her, she would talk to you. If you wanted to be her friend, she would be your friend. If you needed to talk about your personal issues, she never felt the need to give advice if you didn't want it, she never felt the need to overstep. If you just needed someone to listen, she would sit and listen.”
But most importantly, Luc says Jesse-Ann was the most incredible mother to their three children, who are seven-, five- and two-years-old.
“I’m three days into this and I’ve already missed a doctor’s appointment, a school absence report and forgot to pack two lunches,” he said. “I don’t know how she did what she did.”
One thing holding Luc together in these most-difficult times is their oldest child, who he says is a “mini version of her mother.”
“She’s strong, she’s loving, she’s caring; she is her mother,” he described with a glowing tone. “I look at our seven-year-old and she looks just like her mom, she acts just like her mom and she’s been such a rock, just like Jess would be.”
Luc notes that he’s had the support of many rocks over the past few days, largely thanks to the overwhelming amount of people that cared so deeply about his wife.
That includes Chelsea Young, a woman who quickly formed a strong friendship with Jesse-Ann after the Jacobson’s move to Kelowna.
She's the one who started the GoFundMe that, at the time of writing, had raised around $20,000 in less than 24 hours.
While the money will certainly help the family through such a tragic time, the most important thing for Luc is to keep the memory of the woman he spent 15 magical years with, nine of those as husband and wife.