Public Memorial Scheduled To Honor Popular Sunshine Coast Yoga Instructor Lauren Verona

The family of Sunshine Coast yoga instructor Lauren Verona has spoken publicly about their “unfathomable loss,” while describing the tragic circumstances surrounding the popular yoga instructor’s death.

Speaking at the Maroochydore studio that Ms. Verona owned, husband Ryan Gaylard said he wanted to share their story to bring comfort to the many people Lauren “touched, healed, inspired…and saved”.

The 42-year-old yoga practitioner died on June 8, shortly after the birth of her third daughter Lucinda at her home.

“It was Lauren’s perfect natural birth,” said Mr Gaylard.

“Using everything we learned from our hypno birth course, Lauren put herself together perfectly and calmly breathed her baby into this world.

“I want you all to know that Lauren is in touch with our beautiful baby.”

But the family’s joy turned to devastation when the mother’s condition deteriorated rapidly and she was rushed to hospital.

“To the paramedics and the people at Sunshine Coast University Hospital who were involved in trying to keep Lauren with us, our family cannot thank you enough for all you have done,” said Mr Gaylard.

A father with three young girls, including a baby
Lauren Verona’s husband Ryan Gaylard and her daughters Evie (left), Lucinda and Allira.ABC Sunshine Coast: Jessica Ross

Rare condition under investigation as cause of death

Ms Verona’s cause of death is still under investigation, but Mr Gaylard said hospital staff had told him they believed his wife was suffering from a rare condition known as amniotic fluid embolism (AFE).

A spokesperson for the Sunshine Coast University Hospital said their “deepest condolences go out to Mr Gaylard at this sad time”.

“As the case is currently under the coroner’s office, we are unable to comment further,” the spokesperson said.

Candles and a photo of Lauren Verona on the floor of a yoga studio
A sanctuary in Lauren Verona’s studio.ABC Sunshine Coast: Jessica Ross

AFE occurs when amniotic fluid or fetal material enters the mother’s bloodstream.

According to Queensland Health, AFE is rare but the leading cause of immediate maternal death, and there is no proven effective treatment.

“Little research has been done on this condition because it’s infrequent…it’s as rare as chicken teeth,” Mr Gaylard said.

A black and white image of a smiling woman
Lauren Verona died of complications after giving birth earlier this month.Supplied: Zenko Yoga

“In true Lauren style, she’s always helping people.

“No words can explain the devastation of this, but Lauren cannot be explained at the same time.

“That smile, so welcoming and so loving. She’s the most genuine person I’ve ever met.”

The happiest and saddest day of our lives

Mrs. Verona’s daughters also paid tribute to their mother.

Eldest daughter Allira spoke on behalf of “Evie, Lucinda and I”.

“My mother taught me to trust myself. When it was bedtime, Mommy would come into my bedroom and tell me about my worries and concerns.

“It inspired me to keep going. I wish I could tell her one more time that I love you.

Two girls in dress pictured touching their pregnant mother's belly
Lauren Verona with her daughters on her wedding day.Supplied: Zenko Yoga

“This has been the best and the worst time of my life.

“With everything that has happened, little baby Lucinda has made me feel so much better, even just looking at her.

“I’ll make sure Lucinda has a great life. I’ll treat Lucinda the way Mama treated me, the way Mama would want me to.”

Gaylard said the girls described the day their sister was born as the “happiest and saddest” day of their lives.

Community gathering around the family

Since Lucinda’s birth and the shock of her mother’s death, the family has received an “incredible” amount of support from the community.

“The outpouring of support has been overwhelming in every way and form,” said Mr Gaylard.

“Especially the incredible gift of breast milk from women, locally and from afar.

“These women have banded together in honor of Lauren and her intention to breastfeed baby Lucinda.

“We are eternally grateful to you.”

An esky full of breast milk bottles
A local mother donates breast milk for baby Lucinda.ABC Sunshine Coast: Jessica Ross

Public memorial in honor of Lauren

A private service will be held on July 8, followed by a public memorial on July 15 at the Sunshine Coast Stadium.

“We want to honor Lauren for the gift she was to this world,” Gaylard said.

“Our family has been overwhelmed with all the love and support that has been sent to us – it’s unbelievable.

Lauren ended just about every yoga class with ‘Say hello to someone you don’t know before you leave’.