Francheska and Joe Bechara were just days into their honeymoon when tragedy struck.
The Sydney, Australia, couple wed in front of family and friends in a lavish wedding on Oct. 7, before heading to New York City to begin a three-week honeymoon in the U.S., according to Australian outlet 9News.com. However, just days into the trip, Francheska suffered a stroke.
“Joe went outside for smoke break and she was in the gym training,” Francheska’s brother-in-law Joe Toubia told the site. “He went back in and he found her unconscious. It looked like she had been trying to use her phone to call for help.”
Francheska, 27, was rushed to a local hospital where doctors allegedly told Joe that his wife suffered “multiple strokes,” according to a GoFundMe page set up for the couple by Joe’s colleagues.
“Francheska has undergone 3 major brain surgeries to reduce swelling,” a statement on the fundraiser reads. “Which is now only the start of the recovery.”
Toubia told 9News that Francheska was placed in a medically induced coma. It will be at least three months before Francheska can return to Australia, according to the site and the couple’s GoFundMe page. And doctors are allegedly working to determine what caused the stroke.
“She had no conditions that we were aware of,” Toubia told 9News. “She was completely healthy. The doctors can’t find the issue that caused all this to happen.”
Officials at Milestone Civil Australia, where Joe worked, confirmed the “horrific news” in a Facebook post, writing that the couple has “a long road ahead of them.”
Francheska has shown signs of improvement, and has been able to squeeze her mother, Georgette El-Ters’, hand.
“Her mother asked her to squeeze her hand if she understood and she did, which was great,” Toubia told 9News. “She is responding better than what doctors expected, to be honest, but it’s going to be a long process before the swelling has gone down and they can find out the true extent of the damage.”
The couple had recently bought a home in Australia, planning to move in after their honeymoon, according to the GoFundMe page. However, the couple’s future remains unclear.
“Their whole life now is who knows, just waiting to see what her recovery is going to be like, it’s just terrible,” a friend of the couple, Sue Richardson, told 9News.
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