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Ben and Amy Van Houten pose for a family photo with their children, from left, Peyton, Sammy, Drew, John, Nolan, Gerrit and Kennedy at their home in Hamilton, Mich., in 2009. Their youngest daughter, Drew, is not a sextuplet. / William Archie, Detroit Free Press

HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) - The 39-year-old father of Michigan's first surviving set of sextuplets suffered a heart attack and died after setting up a trampoline for his children, a relative said.

Ben Van Houten died Wednesday night, said Sue Herweyer of Dykstra Life Story Funeral Homes in Holland.

Van Houten lived in the Holland area in western Michigan. In 2004, his wife, Amy, gave birth to six children over three days at a Grand Rapids hospital. They're now 10 years old, and they have a 7-year-old sister.

"Just to know Ben for even one day would be a blessing," father-in-law Calvin Reimink told The Grand Rapids Press.

Reimink said Van Houten set up a trampoline in his yard and was playing with his children when the heart attack occurred. Van Houten's father died of heart problems at age 40.

"He was always spending time with the kids," Reimink said of his son-in-law.

The sextuplets were tiny at birth: the largest was only 2 pounds, 1 ounce. Two have cerebral palsy.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read the original story: Sextuplets' dad dies at age 39 setting up trampoline for kids

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