A Story of strength

We need help for our dear friends that are navigating through the unimaginable. Our hearts are aching for them and that drives our passion to help them by raising money to help cover the costs of hospital bills and/or monthly bills while they take time off work to heal. Katilee is a elementrary school teacher in centerville mi. And Connor is a project engineer at a wastewater firm. Both of them accepting these new jobs just this past year. This will be a long journey for them and one we wished so badly they didn’t have to walk, we want to help them in any way we can, so with that said.... We are asking for donations, every dollar counts and no donation is too small.

*** With Katilee and Connors permission I am sharing her heartbreaking yet inspirational story of joy; heartbreak and strength.

“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal”

Thank you to everyone for all of the love and support. We have a lot we are going through and feel so lucky to have each and every one of you in our life. If we don’t respond right away its cause we need time to heal. We love the support and reading the messages it just might take time for us to respond back❤️

These past few days have been some some of the happiest days of our lives and also the absolute worst day of our life. On Sunday morning Connor and I went to the hospital because Rya had decreased fetal movement and wasn’t making her kick counts. We thought it’d be best to go in to double check and just make sure she was okay. We had no idea that on that day we would get to welcome our precious daughter to the world. When we got to the hospital they hooked me up to start tracking her heart beats and movement. Her heart rate was high and she was showing no movement. My body also was starting to have contractions. Meaning the baby was in distress. When the dr saw me she immediately ordered an emergency c-section. We were mixed with so much emotion. The feeling of excitement that we would finally meet our baby girl, the feeling of being so worried about if she was going to be okay, feelings or fear that something might go wrong and feeling hopeful that she was going to be okay!

During the c-section I started to hear yelling and the feeling of immense pressure on my stomach. I heard the doctor yelling for forceps and the vacuum. Everything that you don’t want to hear being used during birth because that means something has gone terribly wrong and your baby is in danger. I heard the doctors saying they were having trouble getting our baby out and I could hardly breathe as they pushed and pulled. I was scared but also still so hopeful that she was going to be perfectly healthy because up till then our pregnancy had been really healthy.connor was holding my hand the whole time and I knew that whatever happened we already had so much love for Rya and for each other that our family would be able to make it through anything. Rya Belle Sharp was born at 12:13 pm 6pounds 14ounces and 20inches long. With brown beautiful hair and an adorable botton nose. A gift from god❤️

However, When our baby girl finally was born I wasn’t able to see her right away cause she wasn’t breathing. Connor went to go be with her as I watched from the table. I could see her beautiful brown hair and the back of her head from the table I was laying on. Before they whisked her away to try and save her life they brought her over to me to kiss her on the cheek. I will never forget that momment❤️. She was the most beautiful and precious baby I had ever seen❤️❤️ After surgery our baby girl was in the NICU it was there where they gave her a breathing tube and a machine to help her breathe. When they got her stable they were able to bring us to see her. We were overwhelmed with so much love for our sweet baby girl. She is so beautiful and so precious! It was an instant connection we felt with her! The love was so strong.

I also had so much hope and belief that she was going to be okay. As time went on though she continued to not progress. She was unable to move or cry. Something had happened which had caused her head to swell to a very large size. They did scans to try and figure out what was wrong. They at first thought it was fluid on her brain, then they thought baby a virus or infection. It wasn’t until many tests later that they found out that she had enormous amount of blood in her head. Her right side of the brain had swelled and blead so much that it was pushing on the left side causing it to swell even more and bleed. Connor and I held her for hours and hours through all of the tests when they were trying to figure out what was wrong. The tests also showed that Rya was unresponsive to any stimulant. As they continued to pump her full of fluids trying to keep her blood pressure and heart rate under control these fluids also went to her head and eyes causing them to swell. On Monday afternoon they confirmed she had no brain activity and was thus brain dead. The nurses and doctors have no idea why this happened. They said there is nothing we could have done to save her brain and that They had never seen anything happen like this before. Connor and I had our blood taken and the doctors took Ryas blood to try and help figure out why this had happened to her. They also continued to meet with specialists trying to figure out had happened to Rya’s brain.

There was nothing we could do to save her or to help her regain her brain activity so after a lot of talk with each other and talking to her we decided to seek out the gift of life. This is an organization which helps find receipts and organ donors. Rya’s organs and body were soooo healthy and working so well and it was just her brain that was so not working correctly. This made her an extremely rare potential candidate to save another baby’s life. The nurse who was taking care of her said that she had only ever seen one other baby who had this type of opputunity to save another baby’s life. It was so rare that Rya was so strong and healthy except for her brain. Knowing that she could have this legacy and chance to save another baby’s life seemed like the right decision so we started to pursue this route. However they were unable to find a matching candidate for Rya’s organs. Since newborns are so fragile and there is such a tiny window of opportunity for a baby to receive an organ it can make it very difficult to find a match in time. We also knew that we wanted to make sure that she had the most beautiful life up to her last moment on earth.

Rya is our daughter and her quality of life was our priority. So we knew what we had to do and that was to take her off life support.

From the moment she was born and all the way up to her last breath. we spent hours and hours continuing to talk to her and telling her everything. We told her how we met, where we got engaged, all about our hopes and dreams for her and all about her mom and dad, we told her how much we loved her, and how much her parents loved each other, we talked to her each on our own to have those mama daughter times and daddy daughter times, we told her about our favorite memories we had made with her and about what we loved most about her, we told her about the day she was born, we read her stories that we had gotten for her and dressed her in such a beautiful bows we had gotten for her, we changed her diaper and gave her baths, we also told her all about her furry brother ozzy, about her home, about up north, and talked to her about where she got her cute button nose from and her beautiful brown hair and her second toe that was longer then her big toe, we told her about her nursery and all of the things she will get to do in heaven and all of the loved ones and fur pets that are waiting for her up there, we talked to her about what we will miss seeing her do on earth but cannot wait to see her in heaven do, we talked to her about not being scared and that everything was going to be okay, we talked about how we will always protect her and be there for her whenever she needs us, we talked to her about her future siblings and about her spirit baby sibling in heaven, we laughed with her, cried with her and grew as a family together. We talked to her and loved on her giving her as many kisses, hand holdings and hugs that we could.since she was born we grasped every momment we had with her. We slept in the NICU room and held her all night. Her grandmas, grandpas,aunts and uncles were also all there and they were able to spend so much time with her loving on her. Some of the family members stayed the whole time we were at the hospital. We felt so much support and love and I know Rya did too. While the family was there on the first night she was baptized and it was such a beautiful memory we all made together. We also spent so many moments all together with Rya and sharing our favorite memories of her and talking and sharing love as a family!

While we were at the hospital Rya Belle won over the hearts of everyone she touched. We had nurses and doctors coming back to check on her even when they were not on shift. There were nurses who came late at night to volunteer taking family photos of us, and nurses who made us scrapbook pages of Rya and signs to go outside her room, nurses who made handprints and footprints for Rya, and brought gifts for her. She is SO LOVED and won over so many hearts! We felt like Bronson had welcomed us in as part of their family. And we felt so blessed to have such a sweet girl and so proud to have such a lovable daughter!

After everyone said their goodbyes Connor and I picked out an outfit for Rya to be cremated in and got prepared to say goodbye. We took in every moment we had with Rya and soaked up every single second with her as a family of three. When we felt it was time Rya and I went skin to skin and Connor wrapped his arms around us and the nurse helped us remove her breathing tube. In that next hour we held each other as a family while she passed. It was the most beautiful moments and the most beautiful death. There was so much love. And I know Rya could feel how much her mom and dad love her and always will.

Rya Belle Sharp is the light of our life❤️ there will not be a day that goes by that we don’t think about her or a moment that she will miss. Because she will always be in our hearts and her legacy will always live on. The love that our little family has for each other is so strong and I know that even though we may not all physically be on earth it does not mean we are not all still together. Just like my husband keeps saying.....love is multi-dimensional and so powerful that it can do anything.

I love our family and there will not be a day going by that we do not think about our beautiful little girl.

❤️Rya Belle Sharp 2-18-18 12:13pm- 2-19-18 11:45pm❤️
  • Greg McMorrow 
    • $75 
    • 43 mos
  • Kaitlyn Allore 
    • $30 
    • 43 mos
  • Jim and Shirley Freeman 
    • $50 
    • 43 mos
  • Laura Foti 
    • $20 
    • 43 mos
  • Marsha Costales 
    • $50 
    • 43 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Dawn Vincent 
Battle Creek, MI
Katilee Sharp 
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