At our tournament this year we will have a baby remembrance of babies that our foundation has helped, or that we have met along our journey of establishing and running the foundation. We believe it is important to share their stories and say their names.
Sweet Stella, we are remembering you today. Stella passed away 6 months to the day after Rhett and I remember hearing her story and knew I needed to reach out to Stella’s Mommy, Laura. Since then we have become close friends that like to talk about Stella and Rhett.
Laura and her husband have started a foundation in Stella’s memory called “Stella Save Lives”. They want to bring awareness of childhood illnesses, support research, and help other grieving families when tragedy such as ours strikes. They are both strong supporters of Sepsis Alliance and help to bring awareness and education of sepsis symptoms. Another project Laura is working on in memory of Stella is the Tribute Clothing Co, please check it out. This is Stella’s story….
July 8, 2017- March 22, 2018
Stella has a twin Nash and an older brother Hayden. She was our only girl, our princess. She loved to be held and had the prettiest big eyes, chubby cheeks for kisses, best giggle and sweet little girly voice. She loved to flap her little arms in excitement especially when big brother, Hayden was doing something silly.
We miss everything about her, what she was and who she would have been. For me, her mother, I will never have a daughter on earth. She was my best friend in the making. We will miss all her milestones and we will never have our twins together. Every milestone that Nash hits, she should be right there with him.
I handle my grief by openly talking about her with whoever will listen even if it makes them uncomfortable. I have made many friends through this journey that know this pain. I like to think that Stella leads me to people. Much like Rhett and Stella connected Tyler and I. Emotionally we get up and go forward every day for our surviving children. We are constantly telling the boys we love them and hugging and kissing them because we understand that every moment could be your last. We have PTSD from the trauma of that morning and most nights I don’t sleep or I wake up thinking one of the boys is dead. Our boys, especially Hayden because he was old enough to remember has lost his innocence of death.
We actually had a small insurance policy for all or our children. We never in a million years thought we would have to use it. It helped us cover Stella’s funeral and burial expenses. We continued to receive hospital bills after we had laid her to rest. Those we had to pay out of pocket. Most therapy sessions are not covered by insurance so these have been an added expense as well.
I think the resources the Rhett Sullivan Foundation are gathering to help families is invaluable. We didn’t know where to turn and felt so alone when Stella died. We would have loved to have someone like The Rhett Sullivan Foundation helping us. Funeral costs and burial expenses are very costly and most people don’t have life insurance for their children so all expenses are out of pocket.