SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — A local family is sharing their personal tragedy with the hope of helping other young mothers who may be struggling with postpartum depression. 38-year-old Jamae Jorgensen, the niece of KELOLAND’s Don Jorgensen, took her own life earlier this week after being diagnosed with postpartum depression following the birth of her now 7-month-old son.
Relatives remember Jamae Jorgensen as always being the life of the party.
“She would light up a room when she would come in. She had such a big personality that the moment she walked in, oh, Jamae’s here,” sister-in-law Christi McLain said.
Christi McLain and her husband Jerron Jorgensen last saw Jamae during a family gathering over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
“She seemed very happy and we took family photos and we were just looking at those family photos from the day before her passing and her smile was the biggest and most sincere, genuine that I feel I’ve ever seen in a photo of my sister and then less than 24-hours, she was gone,” brother Jerron Jorgensen said.
Jorgensen says his sister was receiving treatment for her postpartum depression until her insurance coverage ran out.
“And at that point, she was on her own and did not recover,” Jorgensen said.
The family can’t wrap their minds around how someone who loved being a mom, could end her life.
“Realizing that she was so sick and that we couldn’t help her I think is so heartbreaking for us,” McLain said.
“I am going to shoulder a large amount of guilt on myself for my sister’s passing because of my ignorance about postpartum depression and how severe it can be and I would just really hope that her passing can serve as a wakeup call to others before they go through what we’ve gone through,” Jorgensen said.
The family is urging everyone to reach out to someone who may be struggling, either to simply listen or words of support and assurance that they’re not alone.
“You never know what someone else is going through and I encourage everyone to just approach everyone else with open-hearted empathy and love and support,” Jorgensen said.
“The world lost such a beautiful, beautiful bright light and she will be missed,” McLain said.
There’s a GoFundMe set up for Jamae Jorgensen’s husband and their two boys.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please call the 988 lifeline.
Postpartum depression affects about 1-in-5 women.