A Romantic Neck Massage Reveals The Unthinkable
Young and in love; that was the story of Jake Coates and Emmy Collett who met when they were in grade school. After being apart for ten years, the two reunited in such a way that the love story warrants its own Lifetime movie.
The couple seemed to be perfect in every way, and just like many other couples, they were planning how to spend the rest of their lives together. However, they were unaware of what was waiting around the corner. Things were about to take a tragically unexpected turn. Keep reading this unbelievable story that is bound to leave you at a loss for words.
A Tale of Childhood Sweethearts
Jake Coates and Emmy Collett met when they were only 11 years old attending the same grade school. The little boy from Monmouth, Wales and the young girl from Luckington, Wiltshire had an extremely strong bond from the onset.
The pair’s bond developed from a friendship into a young romance, and it only intensified as the years went on. Although they may not have known it, their blossoming relationship would change their lives in ways that no one could ever imagine.
A School Girl’s Crush
Thinking back on how her fairytale romance began Emmy said “my ‘schoolgirl crush’ on Jake started almost 20 years ago when we were just 11 years old. We quickly became ‘childhood sweethearts,’ and at 13 he told me that I was ‘his lobster,'” referencing a quote said by Phoebe Buffay from the TV show Friends.
“When we were 16, we finally sought the courage to fully admit our feelings for each other, and we dated for three years,” Emmy said remembering the beginning of their relationship. Things were moving quickly for the young lovers, but they would soon have to make one of the toughest decisions of their life.
Going Their Separate Ways
During that time, Jake wrote a note to his beloved Emmy which said: “you are my everything and if you still can put up with me, I will marry you one day.” But the young lovers who were now approaching the end of high school had some serious decisions to make concerning their futures.
They were each other’s first loves, but the time for them to go off to university quickly came, and the two went their separate ways. They may have left things at a friendship level, but fate had other ideas for these two, and they would soon find out what they were.
Reigniting the Flame
Emmy Collett and Jake Coates were extremely close, but it was very difficult to maintain their friendship while they were at university. In 2015, they found their way back to each other reigniting the flame which was once lost.
It may have taken a decade, but Emmy and Jake eventually reconnected in the most natural way possible. Now adults in their 20s with careers and responsibilities, their relationship could not have been any more perfect. It seemed like fate was secretly in their corner, but there was more in store for the young couple.
Making it Work
The couple could not be happier with the paths that their lives had taken and the fact that it had led back to each other. Emmy and Jake were destined to be together from the day that they met back in 11th grade. Although Emmy worked as a teacher in London, England and Jake was a doctor in Sydney, Australia; the two were determined to make it work.
Despite being almost 10, 000 miles apart and having a time distance of 9 hours, the pair did everything in their power to stay in touch. They spoke on FaceTime, and they traveled to and from their countries to sustain their relationship. But in just 6 short things would take a turn for the worse.
Making Good on His Promise
As the months went by, the pair thought more and more about their future together, and they began planning for it. In 2016, Jake could not wait any longer and he was about to do something that he said he would in a note that wrote to Emmy more than a decade ago.
Couples make those promises all the time, but Jake was actually planning on making good on his note about marrying Emmy. He put a lot of thought into it and finally decided to take her on a romantic trip to the Philippines where he would propose on a cliff with fireworks in the background. Before they could leave for the trip, something was about to happen that would not only change their plans, but also their lives.
A Revealing Massage
Before Emmy and Jake went on their romantic trip to the Philippines, Emmy left London to go to visit Jake in Australia on one of their regular international visits. On the very last day, she made one last request, and it was for a neck massage from her boyfriend.
It was not too much to ask, after all, she was leaving the next day. Jake quickly agreed as he was always happy to do nice things for the woman that he loved. When he put his hands around Emmy’s neck, he noticed some that made him stop in his track.
Something Was Wrong
Recounting the event, Jake described the beautifully sunny Sunday afternoon when he put his hands around Emmy’s neck. He said that he immediately knew that something was wrong and that his blood ran cold.
Jake, who was a doctor, has just found a lump in his girlfriend’s neck and he immediately thought the worst. “We were just two people in love lying on a beach in Sydney without a care in the world…who would have known what was about to happen next…” he said when asked about the events of that day.
The Shocking Discovery
Jake continued by saying “You don’t want to worry someone so I didn’t shout ‘oh my God, Emmy, why didn’t you tell me about this’ or anything. I just said very calmly that she needed to have it checked out really quickly.”
“I told her to make an appointment with her GP as soon as she got home. And that’s what happened.” When Emmy returned home to Britain the next day, she went for a checkup. What her doctor was about to say next would completely throw the happy couple’s world upside down.
The Devastating Diagnosis
The happy pair who should have been eagerly packing for a romantic getaway was waiting for Emmy’ medical exam to come back…and it did. The day before the couple was supposed to head off to the Philippines, their attention shifted from the sandy white beaches and alcohol-filled cocktails to something more pressing.
That day, the couple received some devastating news. Emmy Collett was one of the youngest persons in the country to be diagnosed with a very rare type of thyroid cancer. The diagnosis also confirmed that the cancer had spread to other parts of her body, including her lungs, spine, liver, and bones. Finally, they were told that her condition was incurable.
No One Had Ever Felt Her Neck
Jake Coates and Emmy Collett, a couple in their 20s never thought that something like this was around the corner, especially as they were planning to spend the rest of their lives with each other. “She had been complaining about not feeling great for a while, but no one had ever felt her neck,” Jake said when he thought back to the diagnosis.
The loving couple was only 6 months into their rekindled romance when they found out about Emmy’s cancer. Jake immediately left everything behind, flying back to Britain to be by the love of his life’s side. The two quickly took action as they were not convinced that this was the end of their beautiful love story.
Let the Battle Begin
Together, Emmy and Jake decided that they would not allow the disease to win and so, the loving couple prepared themselves to battle for Emmy’s life. Much like how she approached everything in life, Emmy began her journey with optimism and a huge smile on her face.
Emmy’s friends and family members came together not only to offer help, but also to show their support. “Believe it or not I am happier than ever. Love truly is the best drug, and I have been totally smothered in it,” she once said. A short while later, Emmy was admitted to the Royal Marsden Hospital in London where she would be treated. Unfortunately, it was also the place where she got some more devastating news.
Some More Bad News
Dealing with such a devastating diagnosis was a lot to handle, but there was more news that the doctor had to share with the Emmy. Specialists informed her that it would have been possible to make a full discovery if she had been diagnosed earlier. They also told her that she would not be able to bear children.
Understandable saddened by the news, as it was one of her dreams to be a mother, Emmy would not accept it. After all the heartache, there were many rays of light and moments of happiness in this fearless woman’s life.
He Couldn’t Wait Any Longer
A few weeks had passed since the couple found out that Emmy has inoperable cancer, and Jake had to forget about the grand proposal that he had planned in the Philippines. He still wanted to marry Emmy, so rather than letting any more time pass, he asked Emmy to marry him over a cup of coffee while they were sitting in bed.
She could not be any happier and immediately said Yes! Emmy, who was now in the middle of wedding planning had something amazing to look forward to especially since she had been going through taxing cancer treatments. There was more good news for Emmy just around the corner.
A Well-Needed Trip
Instead of thinking about the what-ifs, Emmy and Jake decided that they were going to make the most of the time that they had left with each other and to live by Emmy’s motto: “Smile, love and be kind.” After she was diagnosed, doctors told her that because of her medication, she would not be able to sunbathe again.
The couple wanted to savor every waking moment so they “snuck off” to Dubai for a well needed five-day vacation. The short trip provided the loving couple with the rest and relaxation that they were missing. When they returned to London, Emmy began an unexpectedly inspiring venture.
The Ride Over 1,000 Miles
Emmy was not the kind of person to feel sorry for herself, and the people around her were amazed at how positive and bubbly she was. Rather than staying in bed during her intensive cancer treatments, she was unbelievably active, and with the help of Jake, the two continuously raised funds for the Marsden Hospital.
To show just how adventurous they were and how much they loved each other, Emmy and Jake astonishingly finished a 2,000-kilometer (1,242 miles) bicycle ride across Europe beginning in London, England and ending in Copenhagen, Denmark. The astounding undertaking raised over £140, 000 ($195,000) for the Royal Marsden Hospital. The pair also got matching bicycle tattoos to commemorate the special occasion.
Jake Coates and Emmy Collett were in each other’s lives since they were children and they just also happened to be each other’s soulmates. Neither the distance of being in different countries nor a decade of not being together could stop them from being together. In September 2016, Emmy and Jake got married in front of friends and family, and there was not a dry eye in sight.
Their future together was uncertain, but that did not stop Emmy and Jake from reciting their vows to each other in an extremely emotional ceremony. In thinking back to the night before the big day, Jake remember that he could not sleep because of how excited that he was to “marry this girl, the love of my life.” And their incredible story would not stop there.
The Real Meaning of “In Sickness and In Health”
Because of how extraordinarily moving the couple’s story was, it started to gain a lot of attention from the public. Because of her experience as a teacher and her amazing skills as a writer. Emmy spent much her time writing children’s books during her medical treatments. Further adding to their popularity, Jake was named as the ITV Fundraiser of the Year at the Pride of Britain Awards for the unwavering charity work that he has done for both his wife and the hospital.
Their newly found fame was partly due to a blog that Emmy had started in which she shared her heartbreaking yet moving fight against a rare type of cancer. At the time, Emmy did not know that her blog would lead to an unbelievable event.
Planning a Family
With everything going on, Emmy and Jake had begun to plan the expansion of their small family, as they both dreamt of becoming parents. Doctors had previously told Emmy that she would not be able to become pregnant, something that she openly wrote about. Her plan was to hire a surrogate to carry her child, and before Emmy knew it, there were women coming forward to help.
Emmy knew that her future was uncertain, but the prospect of having a baby made her and Jake extremely happy. Just the idea of having a family was a ray of light throughout some of their darkest times. Not knowing exactly how much times they would have together, the couple went to reproductive specialists who took enough samples for nine viable embryos.
A Former Schoolmate
In a happy plot twist, one of the many women who was touched by Emmy and Jake’s tale was a former schoolmate, Liz Begg. The 32-year-old lived nearby, and she was already a mother of one. She said, “I didn’t really know them at school, but when Emmy started sharing her story on her blog, I knew I wanted to help.”
Liz contacted the couple through the blog and the three later agreed to meet. “Emmy was just something else – an incredible person and so positive. The best way to describe her is gracious,” Liz said about their meeting. These three people who once went to the same school were about to experience something that would forever change their lives.
Chemotherapy and Implantation
While Emmy continued to undergo her chemotherapy treatments, she and her husband continued to meet with Liz, and they soon realized that she was exactly the person that they were looking for. Emmy and Jake described Liz as their “angel,” and the couple went with her to the implantation procedure, sitting next to her the entire time.
Three weeks from that day, Liz would have to take a pregnancy test to find out whether she was carrying Jake and Emmy’s baby. These results would determine if a small part of Emmy would get to live on regardless of what was going to happen to her.
The Double-edged Sword
Jake’s medical training as a doctor proved to be handy on several occasion, all of which were in support of his wife Emmy, and her fight against cancer. He would often tend to his wife’s stitches, administer her injections, on top of monitoring her condition closely.
For Jake, having this much knowledge as well as his responsibilities, was both a blessing and a curse, or what he called a “double-edged sword.” While it was great that he could support his childhood sweetheart in ways that others could not, he was also the person who answered all of her tough questions.
Although he was able to support his loving wife and use his medical experience to help her through the very painful treatment, Jake began to struggle with what he thought was the hardest part of the ordeal – being honest with Emmy when she asked him questions about her debilitating condition.
At the same time, being able to use his medical knowledge served as a defense mechanism, and he found solace in being able to explain many of the complicated medical terms for his loving wife. In being there for Emmy, he was able to help her to understand exactly what she was going through.
Some Really Good News
Three weeks ago, Liz, the former schoolmate of Jake and Emmy underwent an implantation procedure in the hopes of helping the couple to have a baby. “We sat around a table and watched three pregnancy test turn positive one after the other,” Jake said about their reunion. It appeared that things were beginning to turn around and they were all excited.
Remembering back to the exact moment, Liz said “to experience that moment with Emmy and see the hope in her eyes was incredible. That was the most perfect day we ever spent together.” Unfortunately, that moment was also the last time that Liz and Emmy would ever have a conversation.
The Reason I Wanted to Wake Up Every Morning
“Less than an hour after doing the tests Emmy could barely keep her eyes open – the tank was well and truly empty. Truth be told, Emmy never fully woke up,” Jake said remembering back to that tragic day. Sadly, on June 16th, 2017 Emmy Coates passed away after an 18-month battle with thyroid cancer and Jake was with beside her as it happened.
Understandably distraught, the only thought comforting Jake was that: “she died blissfully in the knowledge we were going to have our baby.” In describing his feelings, he said that he felt “utterly lost and empty without her. She was my north, my south, my east, my west. The reason I wanted to wake up every morning and be a better person.” But that was not the end of the story.
Along with having to deal with the painful loss of his wife, Jake also had to deal with another heart-wrenching situation; finding out that their surrogate, Liz, had an unsuccessful pregnancy. The now widow attempted to surrogacy two more times before deciding to stop perusing that option.
Jake was forever grateful to Liz for everything that she had done and continued to do for him and his late wife. In talking about the surrogate and friend, he said: “Liz has been the most selfless, kind, thoughtful, and gorgeous person throughout this whole process.” Still, Jake would not allow the grief to take over.
“My Co-captain on my Bike”
Jake Coates was experiencing one of the toughest things that a person can go through having just lost his wife who he described as “my co-captain on my bike, My best friend. My lobster. My wife. And truly my hero.” He admitted that he constantly thought about her and that “there isn’t a moment that passes when I don’t miss her.”
A grief-stricken Jake revealed his struggles saying, “I can’t look to the passenger seat whilst driving the car without the deepest ache spreading across my chest.” He also disclosed that there was one thought which comforted him, and it was that he believed that his wife and their first baby were in heaven together. With all of this tragedy and heartbreak, something unexpected was about to happen.
Finding Love Again
The emotional details of Emmy and Jake Coates’ lives became one of the most publicized stories in Britain and many parts of the worlds. Even after Emmy’s death, it was one of the most talked about topics and the subject of genuine interest. Even the progression of Jake’s personal development made the news months after his wife’s death.
While Jake will always carry the loss of Emmy with him, he was open to being happy again. Eight months after he lost his soulmate, Jake Coates, who was now 32 years old, was more surprised than most to fall in love again.
The Vow of 10 Marathons
In the early month of 2018, Jake Coates vowed that he was going run 10 marathons within two months to raise funds for The Royal Marsden Hospital in the memory of his late wife. The hospital staff had taken good care of his “beautiful girl” so he only thought it was fitting. Among the many international destinations that he visited, was Iceland. He took a special guest with him, his new flame, event planner Jenna Selby.
Jake, like so many who have lost loved ones, began to piece together his broken heart and in February, he uploaded a picture onto his social media of his new “gorgeous little ragamuffin.” The sweet post was much different from the touching stories that she shared to commemorate his wife. The change did not go unnoticed.
Dividing Social Media
Although Jake was excited to be in a new relationship, and even happier to have the company of both Jenna and her son, people on social media could not help but point out the resemblance between his new flame and his late wife. There were several media outlets who called her a “lookalike.”
Many people who followed Jake and Emmy’s extraordinary story showed their support for Jake who was able to find love again after the loss of his soulmate. But there were also those who criticized him for what they considered was disrespectful towards Emmy and too soon to move on. Jake had the perfect response for them.
Split Down the Middle
Jake Coates had many supporters and well-wishers, quite a few of them who were happy for Jenna and Jakes’ new-found love. There were also some people who were not very supportive; they criticized him for publicly showing off his new relationship for everyone to see, even in front of Emmy’s family, just eight months after Emmy passed away.
Many people came to Jake’s defense, saying that he, like everybody else in the world, deserves to be happy, especially after everything that he had been through. One of the persons who was most upset was Emmy’s sister, Sophie. But Jake had some words for the people who had a problem with his new relationship.
No Room for Negativity
Jake explained that after everything that he went through, he had to find the strength to move forward with his life. He had to continue living by his philosophy; doing his best every day and doing everything that he could to be happy.
“The odd negative comments that have been written (by people that don’t know me or have any understanding of my life or what I have been through) have been deleted because I don’t have any space in my life for negativity,” Jake said. His positive outlook on life was a sign of something that he had said about his new flame, Jenna Selby.
The Nudge I So Desperately Needed
Remembering how Jenna and her young son wound up in his life, Jake said that “no one was more surprised than me. They have both brought the sunshine back into my life and given me the nudge I so desperately needed to start living life to the fullest again.”
While expressing how grateful that he was for Jenna’s love and support in spite of what they were going through, he said: “life is so short, you have to grab it with both hands and enjoy every second of it!” More and more, Jake was looking towards the future, but he had made it clear that he was never going to forget about Emmy, as she will always have a special place in his heart.
Jake Coates may not have been able to have the family that he dreamed of with the love of his life, Emmy after having gone through two unsuccessful in-vitro fertilization treatments with the help of Liz. One more failed attempt would have been too painful for Jake to go through.
Because of his previous experiences, the time he spends with his new girlfriend and her son are all the more meaningful to him. Jake and Jenna were utterly smitten with one another, and they enjoyed spending time together going swimming, watching movies, going on hikes, and playing games together.
Jake Coates’ personal life experience combined with his work as a doctor, made him understand many of the things that cancer patients go through during treatment and their recovery process. It was the main reason why he volunteered at The Royal Marsden Hospital on a regular basis.
He spends his time there running an art class for the boys and girls in the children’s unit of the hospital. He shares his personal experience with many of the people that he meets, including those on his Instagram page. The touching sentiment was an attempt to help raise awareness of cancer patient’s struggle and courageousness.
Coming Full Circle
After making the announcement that he would run 10 marathons for charity, many of his followers on social media stepped up and donated large amounts of money to both the Emmy Coates’ fund and The Royal Marsden Hospital. Altogether, they raised over £7000 ($9200).
Jake completed 9 marathons within the space of 8 weeks, and it was a touching tribute to his late wife Emmy, who fearlessly finished a marathon all while battling cancer. In a Facebook post about the achievement, Jake detailed everything that he had to go through to accomplish his goal. Not only did he drive over 2000 miles, but he also spent quite a bit of money on the entrance fees, and he even lost a toenail during the process. In the end, he wrote that it was worth it.
Tara and Tyrone Books
Emmy Coates, who was a primary school teacher, had a soft spot for children and children’s books. While she was fighting for her life, Emmy spent much of her time writing her own’s children’s book to help keep her mind off the many painful treatments.
Emmy’s books were inspired by a bike and a trailer that she and her husband had nicknamed Tara and Tyrone. While she wrote all of the text, Jake drew all of the illustrations. The Coates had even started a children’s book publishing business together.
While Emmy was still going through chemotherapy, she completed two of the Tara and Tyrone books; “Tara and Tyrone – Stuck in The Mud” and “Tara and Tyrone – Pedro The Pump. The books were later illustrated by her husband, Jake.
Emmy had finished most of book three before she passed away, which she called “Tara and Tyrone – Lost at Sea.” Despite not being completely done, Jake took on the task of finishing the book himself, making sure that it was precisely what his wife would have wanted. The proceeds from the book sales were donated to The Royal Marsden Hospital.
A Heart-Wrenching Tribute
Although Jake Coates had taken the first step towards a new life which he would have never expected, he was determined to keep the memory and the message of his late wife alive. In a heart-breaking tribute to his childhood sweetheart and soulmate, Jake wrote: “I still talk to Emmy every day.”
Jake also has some words of wisdom for other people: “Go to your husband or your wife. Your partner or your lover. Tell them that you love them. Embrace them. Hold them that little bit longer…You’re only here in this world for the shortest time, and you never know when it might all disappear.”
Jake Coates Today…
After losing the love of his life, Jake Coates found love again, with the blessing of his late wife. He said “I’ll always be proud of Emmy and our journey and nothing will ever take that away but life is so short and you have to look forward. It’s what Emmy would have wanted.” He met someone who he had a similar outlook on life with and a person who understood and respects what he went through.
Jake continues to raise money for the Royal Marsden Hospital because “it’s a wonderful place.” The couple who now live in Surrey, are planning on having children and they’re also working on a book about their lives.