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After Discovering His Son Died During A Meeting, A Workaholic Had A Stark Warning For Other Parents

Jessica Brandes

Jessica and JR are residents of Portland, Oregon. She enrolled at New York University in 2002 and earned her degree four years later. In 2009, she was accepted to Portland State University with dreams of becoming a doctor. A year later, she took an intern position at the National College of Natural Medicine. By the middle of 2015, her intern work was complete, and she got a job at Infuse Health Clinic in Portland.

JR Storment

For 20 years, JR took on many jobs. In 1997, he was a web developer at the W.M. Keck Observatory. For the next two years, he worked in Kamuela, Hawaii. After working as the lead web developer at Mystic Mule Marketing, he decided to start his own business. It was called Thing Big, Inc., and he ran it for three years before starting another business called Dovie. His association with the company came to an end in 2011, when he started a third company called Cloudability. Today, it is known as Cloudability Fin Ops Foundation.

Children Of Jessica and JR

The couple was focused on their careers, and they were also focused on their children. They had twin sons who they adored named Oliver and Wiley. The family left Portland when their sons were very young because Jessica’s work took them to London. By the time their boys were 18-months-old, they had lived in London and visited 18 other countries. They stayed there for two years before moving back to Portland.

Rolandic Epilepsy of Jessica and JR’s Child

Wiley and Oliver were happy children, but Wiley suffered from a condition called Rolandic Epilepsy and began having tonic-clonic seizures. Jessica and JR spoke to two different doctors, and they were told that it was a childhood condition, and he would grow out of it. They were thrilled that their little boy wouldn’t be stuck with this condition for the rest of his life. They talked to Wiley about his condition and explained what it was. Also, they told their family and a few friends about their son’s condition. They were sure that their son would be fine.

Tragedy Strikes

In August 2019, the day started out like every other day. Wiley and Oliver were 8-years-old at this point, and they were sleeping in beds beside each other. Oliver got out of bed that morning, but Wiley didn’t. Jessica went to check on her sleeping son, and she was devastated by what she saw. Her son was dead. She was a doctor and could judge by his appearance that he had been gone for at least 8-hours. His skin was cold to the touch, and she knew that the paramedics couldn’t save him. Wiley was gone. He had a deadly seizure during the night.

Calling JR

Jessica was in shock, and when she pulled herself together, she called JR to give him the horrible news. He was at a meeting in his office at the time with 12 other people. He and Jessica had an agreement that when one called, the other would take the call no matter how busy they were. JR got up from the table and answered the phone as he was walking out of the conference room when Jessica said the worst sentence he would ever hear. She said, “JR, Wiley is dead.” He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He knew that he couldn’t drive after receiving such devastating news, and a colleague drove him to his house. On the way there, he was trying to wrap his head around the idea of life without Wiley, but he couldn’t.


When he got home, there was complete chaos. There were at least six police officers there, blocking his way into Wiley’s room. He says that when a child dies, it is considered a crime until the cause of death is determined. A few hours later, JR and Jessica were allowed in the room so that they could say goodbye to their son. After, the medical examiner took him away.

Grief and Guilt

When she lost Wiley, Jessica drowned in her grief. JR drowned in guilt. After discovering his son died during a meeting, a workaholic had a stark warning for other parents. His guilt stemmed from starting business after business, which took him away from his family. He was in a meeting when his son died when he should have been at home.

He created a post on Linkedin, warning other fathers. And he wanted to let them know how much time he lost with his son because he was always so focused on his career and his next business venture. Had he settled with one business, he would have had more time with his family. He wanted to warn other fathers that being a workaholic will do nothing other than take time away from your children. He just hopes that his loos and his story will help another father who puts his job before his family.

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