Around 8:30am on June 23rd, 2018, our first baby was born and immediately taken away from us; he was 23 weeks of gestational age. The doctor told us that because he was born after 20 weeks old, we were responsible for arranging the funeral and services. He was issued both a birth and a death certificate for his roughly 30 minutes on Earth. Also, because he was before 24 weeks, they would not resuscitate him. But had he lived to be 24 weeks, and we chose to resuscitate, he would have to be on feeding tubes, hooked up to machinery, and if after all that he had a chance of survival, life would be difficult for him.
Everything was wrong. But yet, everything was perfect.
We never had a chance to be parents, but we have to think about burying our child. I never had a chance to change his diapers or hear him cry, but I got to hold him in my arms and comfort him. His name was Emmett Zhang Louie.
In our grief, we searched for answers.
The doctors told us that there was nothing we could have done to avoid this. It was a rare medical issue that they would not have been able to diagnose until it happened, only then could they put in place procedures and monitoring to avoid it from happening again. Emmett sacrificed himself so that our future babies could live.
After checking in at 2am with cramps, we went from our baby will be okay when the nurse started working with us in the Labor and Delivery Unit to “this is a very serious situation” a few hours later when we talked to our obstetrician. In roughly 7 hours time, our lives were flipped upside down. And we are forced to think of the good that can come out of this, because the alternative would be much, much darker.
Had he lived to be a healthy baby and child, he would have loved to watch movies like Back to the Future on repeat with us, he would have helped his father build many, many Lego sets. But we can’t think of what could have or would have been, we can only think of what Emmett Zhang Louie is.
During this trying time, we want to create a non-profit organization to honor his life. The Emmett Louie Fund’s mission will be to contribute to all the non-profit organizations that support the parts of our community that we care, and he would have cared, deeply about.
While we work to set up the organization, we want to first start a fundraiser to give donations to Emmett’s final resting place at St. Mary-Immaculate Conception Cemeteries and Chapel. In this place, there is a special section dedicated to children who lost their lives too soon, and we are grateful that Emmett will be able to rest and play with all the other children.
However, this sacred place is in need of some maintenance and care, and because these plots are offered for free to parents, they do not have the funding to maintain it. It would provide us with a sense of peace to know that this section will be continuously maintained. Therefore, our goal with this preliminary fundraiser is to provide St. Mary-Immaculate Conception with the necessary funds to begin maintaining a more beautiful resting place not only for Emmett, but for all the children that are buried there. Later, with the Emmett Louie Fund, we will provide continued funding for this place, as well as other organizations in our community.
We thank you for your continued support as we build up this charitable organization in Emmett’s name, check in with www.emmettlouiefund.org for further updates after this.