Pregnant Teacher Dead After Being Found Unresponsive at School Weeks Before Due Date

Courtney Fannon "was a special education teacher who served her students with passion and joy each day," school officials said

<p>Courtney Fannon/ Facebook</p> Courtney Fannon

Courtney Fannon/ Facebook

Courtney Fannon

A pregnant special education teacher in New York died after collapsing at work last week.

Courtney Fannon, 29, was found unresponsive at school on Friday, USA Today reported.

She collapsed after she sent a message to her husband as she was finishing her work day, her husband's friend, Matt Smith, wrote in a GoFundMe fundraiser for the family. She was taken to a hospital, but doctors could not save her or her daughter per the tribute. They died that evening.

"The world lost 2 beautiful souls, Courtney Fannon and Hadley Jaye Fannon, long before any of us were ready to live in a world without them," Smith wrote.

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The school district superintendent confirmed the Kendall Elementary School teacher died in a statement, calling the loss "unexpected."

"Courtney was a special education teacher who served her students with passion and joy each day," the statement said. "When she wasn't in her classroom sharing her love and gift for teaching with her students, she could be found walking our halls with a smile and a friendly hello."

When reached by PEOPLE on Thursday, the school district said it had no further comment. Additional details about what happened are not immediately clear.

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Courtney and her husband Kurtis married in August 2022 and were due to give birth in just four weeks, according to the GoFundMe campaign.

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"In the wake of this devastating news, Kurtis was left to not only manage final arrangements for Courtney and Hadley, but he is living mine, and many others, worst nightmare of having to return to a home, filled with baby toys, bottles, furniture and a finished nursery, that will no longer be filled with the cooing sounds and shuffling of a newborn," the message read.

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Smith remembered Courtney, as a "loving" woman who "always placed her students ahead of herself, ultimately changing the lives of her students and caregivers, always for the positive."

"As we mourn, we also ask that you hold your loved ones just a little tighter over the next few days, you never know if you will have a tomorrow with them," Smith added.

The GoFundMe has raised more than $60,000 as of Thursday afternoon.

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