A Missouri woman passed away mere minutes after graduating from nursing school, leaving behind a husband and three sons.

Jessica White and her husband, Danny, took out loans so that she could pursue her dream of becoming a nurse — and eventually support the family — while he stayed home with their sons.

Jessica made it to graduation, earning an associate’s degree Thursday night — but the graduation ceremony took a tragic turn.

Jessica White. (Image source: screengrab via WDAF-TV.)

Jessica White. (Image source: screengrab via WDAF-TV.)

“All of a sudden, this catastrophe hits,” Danny told WDAF-TV.

Jessica collapsed.

“She was talking to me, and she said, ‘I just feel like I have something stuck in my throat that I can’t cough up,’ and then she just fell over,” said Deborah Wren, Jessica’s classmate.

She was rushed to the hospital, where she soon passed away.

Danny told WDAF-TV that his wife had Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder affecting the body’s connective tissue, though he noted that the cause of her collapse was still unclear.

The family’s situation is dire, having lost a mother and expected breadwinner.

Danny White and his three sons grieve their loss. (Image source: screengrab via WDAF-TV)

Danny White and his three sons grieve their loss. (Image source: screengrab via WDAF-TV)

“Keep on living, one day at a time, that’s all I can do, until I figure everything out,” said Danny, “I’ve just gotta go on living from there.”

Donations for the family can be sent to:
Jessica White Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 1223
Raymore, MO 64083-1223

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter