Chicago Tribune

Finding hope after tragedy: Wife's stroke left dad with newborn triplets a year ago

Charlie Whitmer's red-headed, blue-eyed triplets giggle and crawl as they explore their West Town home. One stands up against a large front window, hands pressed to the glass, looking out to the street below.

There's no shortage of people to help Charlie - a stay-at-home dad - with the awesome and inherently chaotic responsibility of caring for three babies. His house is often filled with visitors: friends, family and nannies. But someone is missing.

Charlie's wife, Kathryn, died June 8, 2018, at age 31 from complications of a hemorrhagic stroke that she suffered a week before the triplets' birth June 4, 2018. Charlie spent his first Father's Day in the neonatal intensive care unit, watching over his premature babies. It was the day after his wife's funeral.

He has since left his job as an options trader to focus solely on his kids. It's not the life he had planned, "but my dreams changed when Kathryn passed."

Through devastation, Charlie, 33, said he's trying to find good. This spring he joined about 100 relatives, friends and staff members

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