The hemorrhage, which doctors believe may have been brought on by high blood pressure, would prove fatal.
But before Jessen died, the 33-year-old Californian’s family wanted to let his dog, Mollie, see him one last time.
“The hospital did the sweetest thing for us and allowed us to bring my brother’s dog in to ‘say goodbye’ so she’d know why her human never came home,” Michelle Jessen explained on Facebook. “If you knew my brother, he really loved his sweet dog.”
Relatives captured the heartbreaking moment and shared it on social media. The video has since been viewed more than 10 million times.
“Buddy? Hey, Ryan?” a man says in the video.
Then a woman calls out, “Hey, Daddy Ryan.”
“Hey, Ryan,” the man says again. “Say goodbye. Bye bye.”
“Bye bye, Daddy Ryan,” the woman says.
The dog’s frenzied sniffing fills the aching silence.
“There he is; can you smell him?” the man gently asks the dog. “Yeah.”
Then, they help the pup find a spot to lie down between her human’s legs.
Jessen’s mother said on Facebook that her son died Nov. 30.
“He thought he had a migraine, but it was a ventricular brain hemorrhage,” she wrote.
“It happened so quickly.”
She said her son was an organ donor and that his family members were grateful to be able to help others.
His sister said in a message that a 17-year-old boy would receive Ryan Jessen’s heart.
“As sad as it is to lose Ryan,” Michelle Jessen wrote, “we know his heart is going to bring so much joy to the family of the recipient. I wish Ryan could know what a difference his heart will make for that young man.”
As for Mollie, she will remain with relatives.
“Don’t worry about the dog!” Michelle Jessen wrote. “We’re keeping her!!! She’s part of the family.”