"Not a day goes by – not even 10 minutes pass – without me thinking of something I want to tell or ask Casi," Jamie Reed tells PEOPLE

By Tiare Dunlap
Updated March 16, 2016 11:35 AM
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Credit: Courtesy Jamie Reed

“Not a day goes by – not even 10 minutes pass – without me thinking of something I want to tell or ask Casi,” Jamie Reed tells PEOPLE.

Reed’s best friend, mother of five Casi Rott, died suddenly from a blood clot in her lung on Feb. 8 – one week after giving birth to triplets.

“It’s definitely just surreal,” Reed, 27, continues. “I could ask her anything and same goes for her. I’m going to miss our close friendship for sure – I already do.”

The two women met after they both moved to Clay Center, Kansas, and immediately found they had a great deal in common.

“We had a very real friendship. We shared all the hardships and joys of being good wives and mothers and that’s how we bonded,” Reed recalls. “And the whole time we knew each other, one of us was pregnant.”

Reed says her life was most profoundly impacted by Rott’s selflessness.

“She taught me how to be an amazing friend,” she reflects. “Casi had the babies on the 29th and the next day – after sending me pictures – she was asking me about my upcoming move. She had just brought three babies in the world and here she was reassuring me about moving to a new house.”

Days after the triplets were delivered via C-section, doctors discovered a blood clot in Rott’s lungs. After spending a few days in the hospital, the 36-year-old was cleared to go home.

“The night before she passed away she sent me a picture of [her baby], Levi, and we made plans to watch the Super Bowl together next year because we were both watching it,” Reed recalls.

After returning home the next day, Rott complained of chest pain and then passed out in the car as her husband, Joey, rushed her to the hospital.

“The people at the hospital did all they could do,” Joey told PEOPLE. “They worked on her for over an hour.” But it was too late – Rott was gone.

Joey now must raise the couple’s five children without the woman he called his “best friend.”

“I think he’s being very strong for the kids,” Reed says. “He was a very good dad before all of this and I think he’s still a great dad. His biggest concern is telling the kids about their mom and making sure they’re taken care of because that’s what would have been most important to Casi.”

Joey and the kids are being supported by four generations of family members, a close-knit community and hundreds of strangers who have donated over $135,000 to a GoFundMe page that was created to help the devastated family.

Reed says she’ll be there, too, to tell the triplets Levi, Asher and Piper and older daughters Chloe, 6, and Tenley, 2, about their mother.

“I definitely want them to know how in love their parents were,” Reed says. “I hope they can find love like that. And on a more personal note, I want them to know how good of a friend their mom was to me. I hope they experience that kind of friendship.”