Surrogate mum dies giving birth
MICHELLE Reaves was on her second surrogacy for the same family when she tragically died while giving birth.
She had two young children of her own when she set out to help another couple enjoy the same happiness of raising a family.
However, the mother-of-two from California, US, was left fighting for her life after repeated complications during delivery.
The baby survived but Ms Reaves sadly lost the battle, passing away on January 15.
Family friend Jaime Herwehe described Ms Reaves as having the best, most sarcastic, funny personality.
"For those of you who didn't have the pleasure of knowing Michelle, she will always be known for the love she had for her family," Mr Herwehe said in a GoFundMe page he set up for her husband Chris and their two children Gage and Monroe.
The devastated friend said his heart breaks for her son and daughter "knowing they won't grow old with their mama".
"I can't even begin to imagine what her husband Chris and her two babies are going through," Mr Herwehe explained.
He started the fundraising campaign to raise money for the heartbroken family. It has raised more than $US48,000 ($A70,000).
"I want to start this page to help raise money for help with the kids, for Chris as they all adjust, funeral services, or anything at all to make it as easy as we can on them," Mr Herwehe wrote.
"You hear about these things happening all of the time but never in your life imagine it will happen to you."
Mr Herwehe said the loss of his friend "doesn't even feel real".
"Let's be there for Michelle's family like they would for us. No one deserves to lose their mama so young or the mother of their children," he said.
'SHE'S A HERO IN MY EYES'
Shocked friends have flooded the charity page to offer condolences and support to the widowed husband and his children.
"Chris, your loss is indescribable and so very sad. May God and Michelle wrap their love around you and your beautiful babies as you move forward. Big big hugs young man," one friend wrote.
"I never met her, but she's a hero in my eyes. God bless her family," another person said.
Others said it was "horrible" her surrogacy journey ended in such tragedy.
"Michelle was doing such a generous thing helping another family have children. I'm so sorry for your loss," one woman said.
"God bless your family during this terrible time of loss. I will be praying for you and your children."