Joey Rott and his children Credit: Courtesy Joey Rott

“Perfect.” That is how Joey Rott describes Casi, his wife of nine years, who passed away on February 8, just 10 days after giving birth to triplets.

The Clay Center, Kansas–based mother of five delivered the three healthy babies by caesarean section at 34 weeks on January 29. Afterward, while she was recovering from her surgery, she developed a blood clot in her lungs, which was treated with medication. When Casi was discharged on February 8, she surprised her daughters Chloe, 6, and Tenley, 2, at their rural farm house.

“I picked the girls up and told them there was a surprise waiting at home,” Joey tells Us Weekly. “Casi was in tears when she saw them! There were lots of hugs.” The perfect moment was fleeting. Five minutes later, Casi began suffering from severe chest pains. Another blood clot had formed. She died as Joey frantically drove her back to the emergency room.

The dad of Chloe, Tenley and 6-week-old triplets Asher, Levi and Piper tells Us he misses his “best friend” every day — and so do her children.

“My oldest, Chloe, has been asking about her mom. She talks about her quite a bit and about how she is in heaven,” says the 33-year-old IT worker. “When the triplets are older, I will tell them how much their mom loved them. I’ll tell them how crafty she was and how hands on. She was a people person.”

Casi was employed as a secretary at the local elementary school.

“There were times where students came to school without a coat during the winter and she’d go get one at a thrift shop,” says Rott. “Sometimes kids would need treats for a special occasion, but didn’t bring any, and she’d run out and buy some.”

Now Rott is finding strength and comfort in the kindness of his close-knit community— and in God.

“I pray a lot,” says Rott. “I’m doing as well as I can do. I’m taking it day by day.”

Friends and family of Joey and Casi set up a GoFundMe account to help with medical expenses and daily needs.