The Ramsey Keller Memorial was started when our precious daughter moved to heaven too soon. We became a nonprofit to help other families affected by the loss of a child. Our organization contracts with funeral homes throughout Montana to help pay for the expenses of children’s funerals. We know firsthand how devastating it is to pay for your child’s funeral and we hope to take that burden off of heartbroken families.
We have been married 14 years and have 3 healthy boys ages 12, 9 and 7. Our 4th was due in December and we were eagerly anticipating her arrival. Ramsey Jo Keller arrived early, on November 23rd and surprised everyone when she had a chest full of fluid. She looked and sounded healthy in utero, so it was completely shocking. When she was born, she wasn’t breathing and they worked on her for 10-15 minutes to drain some fluid out of her chest so that her lungs could compress and do their job.
While in the NICU, they felt she was stable and allowed us in to see her. Although we couldn’t hold her yet, we touched her, sang to her, prayed over her and the boys read books to her. She quickly took on the role of the baby of the family as the boys were already protective of her. The first 2 days seemed to be good. She was stable with good signs she was progressing.
On the morning of November 25th, a nurse came rushing in my room to tell me my baby wasn’t doing well and to get in a wheelchair quick (I had a C-section). I knew I had to call Jeff (he was home with the boys), so I did that before I went into the NICU.
When the doors opened and I saw her, there were 5 nurses and the NICU doc surrounding her. They were giving her shots in her heart and doing chest compressions to get her going. It felt like I was floating… what are they doing? Where is my husband? Why do they want my pastor’s number? BREATHE, RAMSEY, BREATHE. Jeff got there in time for them to tell us there was nothing more they could do. They put her in my arms with a faint heartbeat and she passed away.
We kept her with us for 6 hours. We (the boys and our whole extended family and friends) held her, kissed her and looked at how perfect her little body was. She was still warm and pink and MINE… how could she be dead? We held each other, we cried and we prayed. Then, we went home without our baby.
We prepared for her celebration of life and made decisions no parent should have to make. Jeff wanted to speak at her celebration and I’m so glad he did! He spoke with a daddy’s heart. He spoke about his dreams for her, how proud he was of her and because our family is centered around Christ and His promises, we will somehow find a way to keep going.
After Jeff spoke, our beloved pastor, Bill spoke. He spoke of the truths of the bible, how Ramsey is celebrating in heaven and if we want to see her again we must accept Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. When closing his sermon He asked our friends and families there to pray a prayer to accept Christ if they hadn’t done that in their life yet. 40 people raised their hand to acknowledge they accepted Christ. In Ramsey’s two short days, she helped change eternity forever. It is our proudest moment and one we can look back on and actually feel joy
Two months after she passed away we received all of the test results back and met with her doctors. On paper, she should still be alive. You see, not one thing was wrong with her. Not structurally and not chromosomally. She was perfect! In the reports, we found that her body instantaneously flooded with fluid, so quick and hard that it surrounded the sac around her heart. Her precious body was trying to do what it should, but because of the fluid, could not. This is something we are still trying to accept.
After life settled down a bit (a relative term) we began to brainstorm a way to honor her little life and also help others faced with the same tragedy. The Ramsey Keller Memorial was born! We know our foundation will do great things and we know Ramsey is smiling down on us. Kisses to heaven sweet girl…
UPDATE: We have added a rainbow baby, another boy, to our family. Bauer Trust joined us in Dec. of 2012 & we are thrilled!!