Accidents are never expected, but when they happen, they always leave indelible imprints. For Dominique Olivier, it left a feeling of shock and great sadness. However, after her 2-year-old daughter was taken off life support hours after her husband’s death, she remained hopeful that the pair would be together.
On a bright Friday, a family living in Cape Town felt the horrible claws of death. First, 39-year-old Jaendre, a father of two, left home with his eldest daughter, 2-year-old Felix, to visit his parents.
Back at home, his wife, Dominique, cared for their youngest child, and she hoped to see them later that day.
Unfortunately, later that day, Dominique was alerted of her husband’s death and that her daughter had been badly injured following an accident on the M3 close to Tokai.
A Happy Family
The Olivier clan included a father, a mother, and their two daughters, living happily, content, and fulfilled. Dominique, an oil painter, married Jaendre, a former administrative clerk at Mediclinic Louis Leipoldt in Bellville.
Both husband and wife were in awe of parenthood. In 2020, Jaendre shared a candid view on parenting, even as a first-time father. He posted a photo collage of his family and explained how their routine had changed since Felix came on board.
He did not make it only about himself but included his wife and how they strived to work as a team. In the end, he advised new parents, writing:
“Trust and be patient with your spouse; find time to smile at one another and stare at your little bundle joy as much as you can!”
Two years later, the couple welcomed baby Florence Louise. Again, Jaendre took to Instagram to share news of his baby’s arrival and did not waste time commending his wife for being a “super mom.”
Dominique described her husband as a devoted family man whose life-long dream was to watch his lovely kids grow into beautiful adults.
He was hands-on as soon as Felix was born, giving his wife all the help she needed. This did not go unnoticed, as Dominique shared an appreciation post in 2020. She uploaded a series of snaps with the new dad cuddling his infant and quipped:
“We named our daughter Felix because it means “fortunate.” For the rest of her life, I know she will be fortunate to have a daddy like you – a daddy who has been 100% hands-on, involved and unafraid from the minute she was born… its like you were always meant to be here.”
Indeed, Jaendre’s drive for fatherhood was so intense that when they welcomed their second daughter, he retired from work to become a stay-at-home dad. In her words:
“He was devoted to his daughters … just six weeks ago he resigned from his job at Mediclinic to be a full-time father.”
Jaendre invested time in caring for and protecting his kids. Moreover, while looking after his kids, he displayed admirable values that rendered people to him.
“He was very warm and always made time for people, a real fun person, and always protected his daughters,” his widow confessed.
The Accident That Separated the Family
On Friday afternoon, news from The City of Cape Town’s safety and security was that a ghastly accident occurred between Firgrove Bridge and Ladies Mile.
The unfortunate incident was initiated by a panic-stricken truck driver journeying with a trailer of bricks. As one of the tires of the heavy-duty truck burst, the driver lost control and navigated it into the M3 inbound.
However, this swerve was catastrophic, interfering with three cars, and the head-on collision resulted in one death on the scene, leaving others injured.
Jaendre was the only man who died that day. Two men sustained wounds while Jaendre’s baby girl was hurriedly taken to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital after a good Samaritan found the wounded baby strapped to the seat.
While recounting the accident, an emotional Dominique managed to thank the person who found her daughter, adding that the Samaritan’s gesture granted her time with Felix. She said:
“That person put her in his car and rushed her to the hospital … if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have been able to say goodbye.”
Sadly, even though Felix was rescued, she did not get another shot at life. The 2-year-old died on the same day, hours after her dad.
Carrying On with the Loss
Losing her husband and daughter is shocking, but Dominique, who has a daughter to look after, has expressed unbelievable hope while carrying on with her loss.
Felix was pulled off life support around 8 pm; before then, the Cape Town mom told the toddler, “go to papa.” While this was heartbreaking, it was her last words and wishes for her toddler.
After Felix’s death, Dominique took to Facebook, revealing her loss and asking for prayers and comfort for her family and Jaendre’s parents.
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Amid the hurt, she found solace in believing her daughter was resting in her husband’s arms in heaven. However, she admitted that Jaendre’s demise has left “a void that no one will ever fill.”
Friends, Loved Ones, and Strangers Supporting the Family
So far, help and words of encouragement have been trooping in from every corner. Although Dominique revealed that only family members would be allowed at the funeral, many have donated to the cause via the family’s Backabuddy account. People have also been kind with their words. Some comments read:
“Deepest and sincere condolences to you Dominique and family on your tragic loss. We live in the area just above M3, where accident occurred, our neighbours were the first to call for help. May our Lord welcome dad and baby into HIS loving arms.”
– (Cherie Segers) October 12, 2022
“We don’t know each other, but my heart goes out to you and the many that loved yr hubby and baby. May the Lord give you the strength to cope with this unimaginable loss. HUGS AND BLESSINGS.”
– (Del Martin Davies) October 12, 2022
“I am so sorry ….”
– (Charlene Albrecht) October 13, 2022
Our heart goes out to Dominique, who has shown courage in handling the loss. Despite the void, we hope for nothing but a fulfilled life for her and her daughter.