TikTok Star Maddy Baloy's Fiancé Held Her Hand as She Took Last Breath After Year with Terminal Cancer (Exclusive)

“We made the decision between us that we’re married for life,” Louis Risher tells PEOPLE

<p>Courtesy Baloy Family</p>

Courtesy Baloy Family

For his 27th birthday on April 30, Louis Risher spent the day sitting by his fiancée Maddy Baloy’s bedside, watching her sleep. “I was holding her hand all day and that’s all I needed,” Risher tells PEOPLE. Just two days later, she died.

Since the day she was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic stomach cancer in 2023, Baloy was determined to make the most of the time she had left. “I was like, ‘I am going to get every ounce of life that I can out of this,’ ” she told PEOPLE back in March.

Part of that included documenting her experience as someone with terminal cancer on TikTok, and making a now-viral video about the nineteen things she hoped to accomplish in her lifetime. The list, which included the likes of meeting Gordon Ramsay and summiting Camelback Mountain, was challenging, but not impossible.

The 26-year-old TikToker checked off those items and more with the support of her fiancé. “Maddy did not let anything defy her. This cancer did not defy her,” Risher tells PEOPLE. “She just lived exactly how she wanted to live.”

Related: Maddy Baloy Had Only 1 Year to Live After Cancer Diagnosis — and Chose Joy: 'Didn’t Let Anything Defy Her’

<p>Courtesy Baloy Family</p> Maddy Baloy with Fiance Louis Fisher.

Courtesy Baloy Family

Maddy Baloy with Fiance Louis Fisher.

While on a dream trip to Japan with Risher in March, checking off another item on her list — “see everything I can” — Baloy’s health began to decline.

“On the second-to-last day of the trip, “she started having really severe cramps in her stomach and her back,” Risher explains.

At the time, he says she was well enough "to get on the plane back to Tampa, but we just went right to the hospital, and then that turned into a month's stay in the hospital.”

<p>Courtesy Baloy Family</p>

Courtesy Baloy Family

Related: Gordon Ramsay Mourns ‘Inspiring’ Cancer Patient Maddy Baloy, Who Had Meeting Him as One of Her Bucket List Items

Toward the end of April, Baloy turned to her mom, Carissa Talmage, and said, ‘’‘I’m tired of being in pain, Mama,' ” her mom recalls. It was then that the decision was made to take Baloy home under hospice care.

“She’s gotten kind of restless at night, so I’ll stay up with her and we will talk about all the things that we’ve done and all of the things that we still have to do — all of the dogs and babies we’re going to have,” Risher told PEOPLE the day before Baloy died. “Now our family’s all here and we’re showering her with so much love. That’s all we can do.”

<p>Courtesy Baloy Family</p>

Courtesy Baloy Family

On May 2, Risher once again spent the morning sitting by Baloy’s bedside. “Maddy passed away peacefully [that morning]. She was surrounded with love and I held her hand the entire time,” the 27-year-old says.

For more on Baloy's story, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here.

While Risher says Baloy checked off almost “everything that she really wanted to do” on her bucket list, there was one item remaining: the wedding ceremony the couple was planning for the fall. Still, in her final days, “we made the decision between us that we’re married for life,” Risher says. “She always asked, ‘I'm your wife, right?’ I'm like, ‘Yep, you're my wife and I'm your husband.’ ”

While their story didn’t end as planned, Risher is grateful for the opportunities Baloy had this past year. “She was so strong-willed and adventurous, and my goodness, could she make an impact on people,” Risher says. “During the last year — her cancer journey — she’s done so many amazing things and she touched so many lives. It’s been an incredible journey.”

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