Mom to Ramsey Jo

Born November 23, 2011

Died November 25, 2011

Billings, MT

My name is Kori and my story starts on November 23, 2011.  I went into labor with our fourth child, which was suprising since I have c-sections. We went to Labor and Delivery and expected a very normal delivery with a healthy baby girl to take home.  We have three healthy boys, ages 12, 9 and 6, and had no complications with them, so naively I thought this would be the same.

The minute they cut Ramsey’s cord, she went limp and turned blue. My husband said to me, “Babe, she’s not breathing; we’ve gotta pray.”  We began praying out loud for the Lord to save her and allow her to take a breath. The NICU team rushed to save her life.  They tubed her and immediatiely noticed she was extrememly swollen in her trunk (chest cavity).  They began pulling fluid out of her chest by simply sticking her with a syringe and taking it out.  Once some of the fluid was out, her perfectly formed lungs could begin to compress, allowing her to breathe.  They took Ramsey to the NICU and inserted a chest tube on both sides of her and she began to dump unbelievable amounts of fluid. We did every test imaginable, and everything was checking out.  No heart abnormalities, no lung problems; she was urinating and responding to our touch.  After the first few hours, they considered her “stable” and allowed the rest of the family in to see her.  Our boys were SO excited to be big brothers and especially to a sister!  They brought books up and read to her, touched her and prayed over her.  For two days we had very high hopes that Ramsey would be home for Christmas.

Then, on the morning of November 25, 2011, a nurse came in my room and told me to get in a wheelchair, that Ramsey wasn’t doing well.  I grabbed my phone, called my hubby (he was home with the boys) and rushed in to see her.  Around five people were surrounding her.  They were doing chest compressions, changing out medicine bags and crying.  I remember all the nurses crying as they worked on her.  Their compassion for her little life will forever be remembered.  They started asking me if I had a pastor to call, if my hubby would be here soon, and introduced me to a case worker.  I kept thinking, BREATHE, RAMSEY, BREATHE.  The room started turning and I began to feel like I was floating. Jeff got there just in time for them to tell us there was nothing they could do.  Her little body had flooded so fast and so furious with more fluid that it surrounded the sac around her heart and actually stopped it.  They put her in my arms with a faint heartbeat and she passed away.

We kept her with us for six hours.  We passed her around, looked at her perfect body, and wept as a family.  Leaving her body at the hospital was the single hardest thing I have ever done.  She still looked like Ramsey; she was warm, she was pink and she was MINE.

We went home without her and planned for her celebration of life.  We expressed that people wear pink for our only girl and a sea of pink arrived at the church for her celebration.  We had 200 balloons for guests and let them go at the same time. It was beautiful.

In the days, weeks and months that have followed, The Ramsey Keller Memorial was born.  We are rasing funds to help families in our community pay for funeral costs, because even if it’s not a financial hardship for you, we believe no one should have to write a check for their child’s funeral. Building her foundation gives our family something to put our energy into, a way to talk about her, and gives us a sense of hope, that we are helping others.

The Ramsey Keller Memorial Foundation can be found online at www.kisses2heaven.com.

Kori can be reached at rznboys@bresnan.net.


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  1. I am so sorry for your loss. We lost our baby about a month ago because because of fluid in multiple body cavities but they thing his heart wasn’t contracting as strong as it should. I love the fact that that you created The Ramsey Keller Memorial. Besides the day Corbin actually passed, trying to figure out what we could afford for his funeral was probably one the hardest thing. The Ramsey Keller Memorial will be a blessing for families who have to experience this type of loss in the future.

  2. Ellen Moore says:

    I know, all too well, your heartache. We lost our sweet Zoey Alexandra seven months ago to this condition (hydrops). Something we had NEVER even heard of until it struck our family. She was born at 35 weeks and was with us for nineteen days. No cause for the fluid was ever found. She is always in my thoughts, but the tears are gentler now and the storm of my grief has quieted. If it wasn’t for the love of my family, friends, and the wonderful hydrops support group I found, I don’t know how I would have survived. It is a wonderful tribute to your Ramsey, to help other grieving parents get through this terrible time. Anything to make it a little more bearable, and to not have any added stress for them. It is hard enough to recover from such a loss. Much love to you and your family.

  3. Hi Kori,
    Your story is very touching. I lost my second son around the same time as you lost your daughter. Jordan’s birthdate was 11/16/11 and he dies 11/18/11. I have one older son and like you, never thought such a horrific event was possible. I am sorry for your loss and hope that your days are passing by a little easier. The foundation you have created is a wonderful idea.


  4. Jaime ouradnik says:

    Kori… You wrote beautifully .. Thank you for sharing your story. Hard to know what to say except that you have great courage. Gods blessing on your foundation

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Hello Kori,

    You don’t know me, but we have many friends in common and when your loss occurred, they posted on FB and I learned your story. I am so sorry for your loss. I am unable to have children so I can’t comprehend or even imagine the depth of the pain you endured and the grief you still feel, but please know that people have been touched by your story and many of us are praying for you and your family.

  6. I am so sorry for your heart breaking loss. I adopted a baby girl with Wolf Hirschhorn Syndrome and she is now 4 years old.
    She is in final stage kidney failure and doctors say she may have about 6 months. The foundation you started in memory of your daughter is a wonderful idea. May God bless you and your foundation.

  7. Elizabeth Pincolini says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Your organization was there for our family and I thank you for that. Although we were financially blessed to be able to help our children with final expenses for their 10.5 month old son, it is so selfless of you to be doing this for others.
    Thank you.

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