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Unexpected death of market owner affects many

Husband and son grieve loss of their wife and mother

Staff Writer

While Feb. 28 appeared to be a typical Wednesday morning for Peabody Market owner Mike Crow and his wife Jadina “Jai,” it quickly became apparent it was anything but.

“She woke up with a headache,” Crow explained.

According to Crow, Jai had a history of severe migraines. The couple hadn’t been at the store for more than 15 minutes,when Jai approached Mike in the office stating that her headache was getting worse.

“She leans over, throws up in the trash, and all of a sudden says, ‘I can’t see, I can’t hear,’” he said. “I asked if she was okay and she went limp and her eyes rolled in the back of her head, and she started choking.”

Crow says EMS crew and police chief Bruce Burke arrived within three minutes after he placed a call to 911.

Jai was transported to Via Christi – St. Francis Hospital in Wichita where she was diagnosed with a brain aneurism.

“She got better,” he said. “They did a COIL procedure. The only doctor who could do it happened to be at the hospital that day.

“We had all these blessings, like God was following her.”

Crow said that his wife’s status improved after the procedure. Doctors had warned him before surgery that it could be up to seven days before she showed any signs of progress, but Jai defied odds when she opened her eyes within 24 hours post surgery, which is a critical sign of brain activity after an aneurism.

“Within the next seven days everything was going fine,” he said. We were standing her up, she was moving, talking, and doing exercises. Then she had three vasospasms within 24 hours, and it was too much blood on her brain, and they pronounced her brain dead.”

Crow says Jai’s legacy was far from over after her last breath because she donated several organs and tissue.

“The doctor said that between 100-200 people could be affected,” he said.

Mike said out of all the positive attributes his wife possessed, her smile and love of life was among his favorites.

“I loved the way she smiled and she was just happy about life,” he said. “Every little moment meant the world to her.”

Not only did Jadina frequently work 11-hour shifts managing the market, she also committed a portion of her time to giving back to the community. She was a member of Peabody Historical Society and Peabody Hero Committee, and through the store, the couple donated over $4,000 of groceries back to the community within the last year.

She and Mike were members of Peabody Baptist Church, where they were baptized just over a month ago.

“She was just so kind and happy,” Mike said. “Her smile, her big heart, her care for others, that’s what I want people to remember about her.

“And her infectious smile, I miss that.”

While the grieving process has just began for Jai’s husband, children, family, and countless friends, the lessons she instilled with her son, Zane Smalley, will continue to live on.

“It makes you appreciate the moments you had,” he said. “It creates positivity as much as negativity. She was the first person to actually drive me to do what makes me happy. She didn’t care what I was doing as long as it made me happy and wasn’t hurting other people.”

Smalley said that his mom’s unexpected decline in health was a rollercoaster of emotions, but that he holds onto advice she often gave him in times of strife.

“She always used to say ‘long live the highs, long live the lows, but most of all long live the difference,”’ Smalley said. “I loved my mom so much.”

Last modified March 22, 2018

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