The reality star's son died Aug. 5 at the age of 3 months
Little Women: Atlanta‘s Emily Fernandez is grieving the loss of her infant son, who died Aug. 5 at the age of 3 months.
Fernandez, who stars on the unscripted Lifetime series, exclusively opened up to PEOPLE about the death of her “second born” – Lontel Jahnar Johnson Jr. (JJ) – who experienced multiple health complications before and after he was born, including seizures and blood around his brain.
“To say the last three months have been the most difficult of my life is the understatement of the century. Lontel Jahnar Johnson Jr. (JJ), my second born, was a prayer answered. He was born on April 27, 2016, and he was the perfect tiny package. My baby was having seizures in utero and doctors believe there was a problem with the placenta. Little people pregnancies are high risk and being pregnant with a little person is even more dangerous. JJ wasn’t receiving enough oxygen and he was born with blood around his brain,” Fernandez said.
Though JJ faced severed complications, she and her boyfriend, Lontel, believed their newborn would pull through.
“But we believed he’d make it because he was just a baby. We believed there was a fighting chance. Multiple surgeries were performed – but after finding out that he couldn’t hear, couldn’t see and was still having seizures with a dropping heart rate – we realized that he was living his life in fear,” she shared. “He would panic every time a nurse would come to change his diaper because he couldn’t hear or see them. Not to mention all the surgeries he had to undergo in that state of constant fear. It was heartbreaking for me to see him suffer.”
Fernandez stated that she “fought for his life” and did everything in her power to prolong his life: “I fought for his life – I demanded that he have multiple tests run. I wanted to be sure that I did everything in my power to save him and keep him. I’m so grateful to the staff at Medical City in Dallas for everything they did for my baby. If he would’ve been average height, this would’ve still happened. Everything was due to his brain damage.”
Three months after her son’s birth on April 27, he died in early August after being taken off the ventilator.
“JJ passed on Aug. 5 – three short months after I brought him into the world. The only thing that brings me any semblance of peace is knowing that he’s no longer scared and he’s no longer suffering,” the statement continued. “I fought to keep him alive, but I had to think about how scared he had to be waking up every morning and living in darkness. We took him off the ventilator, and he left us within two hours.”
“In his brief time here on Earth, he taught me the true meaning of sacrifice and everlasting love,” she continued. “I miss my King every day, and I dedicate my life to him.”
On the day of her son’s death, Fernandez grieved his loss on Instagram and shared multiple family photos with her fans.
“The gates of heaven welcomed their sweetest angel tonight. You were loved beyond words and I will miss you every second of everyday my king,” she captioned an Instagram photo. “I know you will rest easy and look down us watching over your sisters. RIP Lontel Jahnar Johnson Jr.”
Little Women: Atlanta airs Wednesdays (10 p.m. ET) on Lifetime.