Surrogate Mother Who Died Giving Birth to Another Couple's Baby Was 'the Rock' of Her Family

Surrogate Mother Who Died Giving Birth to Another Couple's Baby Was 'the Rock' of Her Family

Michelle Reaves, the California surrogate mother who died giving birth last week, died helping others achieve their dreams, and her brother-in-law tells PEOPLE that she was known in her life as the person others could turn to at times of need.

Jeff Romero, Michelle’s brother-in-law, tells PEOPLE of her strong will, honesty, and “very direct” personality, but also described the mother of two as “really compassionate.”

“She’s kind of like the matriarch of her whole friend group and certainly of her family, so she’s always kind of the person that people turn to,” Romero says of his brother Chris Reaves’ wife. “A lot of people turned to her, so she was kind of that to her friends and family — the rock that everyone would kind of lean on. She was an amazing mother and a real light in her family’s life.”

Romero tells PEOPLE that Michelle “always wanted to help people,” and that drive to care for others led to her decision to act as a surrogate.

“She wanted to do something that could be helpful to some people, she felt like this was a way that she could contribute,” he says of the 36-year-old, who was on her second surrogacy for the same family.

Michelle, already the mother of two young children — Gage, 7, and Monroe, 3 — was feeling “great” heading into labor, “other than being profoundly uncomfortable and pregnant,” Romero says.

RELATED: Calif. Mother of 2 Who Was on Her Second Surrogacy for Another Family Dies Giving Birth

She had been prescribed bed rest after doctors labeled her a high-risk pregnancy, Romero tells PEOPLE.

“She started the pregnancy fine and there was no trouble or anything, and then a couple months in, she got labeled a high-risk pregnancy in which they said you need to be on bed rest and everything,” he says. “So there was some indication going into it that it might not be as seamless.”

Romero adds, “She felt great and everybody was kind of like ‘Okay, let’s do this,’ and then, you know, it didn’t go that way.”

RELATED VIDEO: Granger Smith’s Son, River, 3, Died in a Drowning Accident at Home, Singer’s Rep Confirms

Once at the hospital, complications caused Michelle to lose a lot of blood, and doctors had to perform an emergency C-section to del

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Surprise! Pamela Anderson Marries Star Is Born Producer Jon Peters in Secret Wedding

Surprise! Pamela Anderson Marries Star Is Born Producer Jon Peters in Secret Wedding

Pamela Anderson is a married woman — for the fifth time!

The actress and activist, 52, secretly married movie mogul Jon Peters, 74, on Monday, PEOPLE confirms.

“They are very much in love and were married yesterday,” Anderson’s publicist Matthew Berritt tells PEOPLE.

Their wedding comes 30 years after the couple first dated and a few months after they rekindled their relationship, keeping the romance out of the spotlight. The Hollywood Reporter was first to report the news.

“Pamela has never seen her full potential as an artist. She has yet to shine in a real way. There is much more to her than meets the eye, or I wouldn’t love her so much,” Peters told THR after the nuptials. “There are beautiful girls everywhere. I could have my pick, but — for 35 years — I’ve only wanted Pamela.”

“She makes me wild — in a good way. She inspires me. I protect her and treat her the way she deserves to be treated,” he continued.

Anderson shared a poem with THR, in which she professes her love for her new husband:

“Jon is the original ‘bad boy’ of Hollywood – no one compares –
I love him deeply like family.
His life used to scare me.
So much for a girl like me. Now I’ve seen more of life and realize ..
He’s been there all along. Never failed me –
I’m ready now and
he’s ready too – We
and respect each other – We love each other without conditions. –
I’m a lucky woman. – Proof
God has a plan”

The Baywatch actress was most recently linked to French soccer star Adil Rami.

RELATED: Pamela Anderson Accuses World Cup-Winning Ex of ‘Physical and Emotional Torture’: ‘I Was Scammed’

Anderson was previously married to Tommy Lee, with whom she shares sons Brandon, 23, and Dylan, 22. The two were married from 1995 to 1998 and had a tumultuous marriage, in which Lee spent 6 months in the Los Angeles County Jail for spousal abuse.

The actress later married and divorced Kid Rock in 2006 and married and divorced producer Rick Solomon twice — in 2007 and 2013. Both marriages to Solomon dissolved in less than a year.

Peters, who produced both Barbra Streisand’s A Star Is Born in 1976 and the remake in 2018 with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, was previously married to ac

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Prince Harry Arrives in Canada to Join Meghan Markle and Start Their New Chapter Away Royal Life

Prince Harry Arrives in Canada to Join Meghan Markle and Start Their New Chapter Away Royal Life

Prince Harry is back across the pond!

Harry, 35, touched down in Canada on Monday night to join Meghan Markle and baby Archie and begin their new lives away from royal life.

He first landed at Vancouver International Airport from London’s Heathrow Airport on a commercial British Airways flight. He then flew into Victoria International airport, touching down around 10 p.m. local time.

Hoping off the flight before the other passengers via a back staircase, the father of one smiled as he walked to a waiting SUV.

For his flight, Harry wore a puffer jacket and a beanie and carried his own duffle bag. The prince was escorted by security guards.

Harry landed in Canada after spending most of Monday at the U.K.-Africa Investment Summit in London where he spoke to African leaders and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

On Sunday, the prince made his first public appearance since he and Meghan, 38, announced their decision to step down as senior members of the royal family.

Harry delivered a speech at an event organized for supporters of his Sentebale charity, which supports the mental health and wellbeing of children afflicted with HIV.

RELATED: Prince Harry Speaks of ‘Great Sadness’ After Agreement with Queen Elizabeth About Royal Exit

“It brings me great sadness that it has come to this. The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back, is not one I made lightly. It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges,” he told the people gathered.

“And I know I haven’t always gotten it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option. What I want to make clear is we’re not walking away, and we certainly aren’t walking away from you,” he continued, going on to reference his late mother, Princess Diana.

“I was born into this life, and it is a great honor to serve my country and the queen,” he said. “When I lost my mum 23 years ago, you took me under your wing. You’ve looked out for me for so long, but the media is a powerful force, and my hope is one day our collective support for each other can be more powerful because this is so much bigger than just us.”

Can’t get enough of PEOPLE‘s Royals coverage

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Hawks Chandler Parsons Has Brain Injury and May Not Play Again After Crash with Alleged Drunk Driver

Hawks Chandler Parsons Has Brain Injury and May Not Play Again After Crash with Alleged Drunk Driver

Chandler Parsons‘ attorneys say his NBA career could be in jeopardy after he was involved in a car accident with an alleged drunk driver last week.

The Atlanta Hawks forward’s lawyers, John Morgan and Nick Panagakis, said in a statement to PEOPLE the alleged drunk driver caused a crash involving three cars including the player’s Rolls-Royce around 2 p.m. Wednesday, which left the player “seriously injuring and potentially ending Mr. Parsons’ career as a professional athlete.”

While initially his injuries were not believed to be that serious, the player’s lawyers say that in fact “suffered multiple severe and permanent injuries including a traumatic brain injury, disc herniation and a torn labrum.”

“Chandler was in peak physical condition at the time of the wreck,” the statement said. “He is now working with a team of doctors to regain his health, and at this time, his ability to return to play is unclear.”

Last week, the Hawks said in a statement that Parsons, 31, “was involved in an automobile accident this afternoon following practice. After a medical evaluation at the Emory Sports Medicine Complex, Parsons has been diagnosed with a concussion and whiplash,” PEOPLE previously reported.

As a result of his injuries, Parsons did not travel with the team to San Antonio, Texas, on Friday for their game against the Spurs. The Hawks ended up beating the Texas team by one point, 121-120.

RELATED: Hawks Player Chandler Parsons Suffers Concussion and Whiplash in Car Crash After Practice

“Chandler is having a difficult time accepting the consequences of the defendant’s reckless conduct on the roadway,” his attorneys’ statement continued. “Our focus right now is on helping him make a full recovery, while we also work to hold any and all responsible parties fully accountable.”

RELATED VIDEO: Olympic Gold Medalist Greg Louganis Is Battling Depression From Diving Injuries

Atlanta police were not available to respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment on the accident.

A photo of Parsons’ Rolls-Royce from the accident obtained by PEOPLE shows the driver’s side of the car completely smashed.

RELATED: Portland Trailblazers Star Carmelo Anthony Gifts New Car to Single

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Live on People Now: SAG Awards 2020: The Best and Boldest Looks From the Silver Carpet

Catch People Now every weekday at 12:00 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT on or on the PeopleTV app on your favorite streaming device. Want even more? Check out clips from previous episodes of People Now.

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