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Elkhart couple donates baskets

Jillian Woolsey had what she describes as an easy pregnancy.

So she and her husband, Kyle, had the nursery decorated, diapers stocked, and everything ready to go for the arrival of their first baby. The Elkhart couple was expecting a little girl, so they picked the name Wren, after Jillian’s mom.

She went into labor the night of June 21, 2016 and the couple headed to Elkhart General Hospital. They were admitted and Jillian remembers having light contractions for about an hour.

That’s when a hidden problem arose. “We had gone to birthing classes and Kyle remembers them showing us the NICU and he said he prayed we wouldn’t ever have to experience that,” she said.

But that night, Jillian was rushed into surgery for an emergency C-section. Wren was born at 1:44 a.m. June 22 and required resuscitation. Wren was transferred to Memorial Hospital shortly after delivery and fought for 32 hours before she took her final breath.

 “She passed away in my arms,” Jillian says sorrowfully. “Those hours will be engrained in us forever.”

The couple later learned that Jillian suffered from a rare pregnancy complication. “We were lucky that Wren made it full term like she did,” Jillian said. “We were even luckier that she fought so hard.”

To do something in Wren’s memory, the Elkhart couple decided that on their daughter’s birthday every year, they will assemble and deliver gift baskets to the families who deliver babies on June 22 at Elkhart General.

The Woolseys recently delivered four “welcome” baskets, each containing a tote, swaddle sleep sack, blanket, rattle toy, some chocolates for the new parents, and a book called “Baby Wren and the Great Gift.”

Each basket also contained a heartfelt note from the couple. The notes read: “Happy Day of Birth! Congratulations on your newest addition to your family. This gift was assembled with abounding love in memory of our daughter, Wren Jennifer. … We hope that the items in this gift can help you or your baby in some way. We wish you many blessings and happiness for years to come.”

Jillian looks forward to sharing Wren’s love and joyful spirit with others year after year.

“While she was not here for very long, she touched more lives than what some humans do in an entire lifetime,” Jillian said.

“Our daughter gave us a perspective on life that we would have never experienced otherwise. We are blessed beyond belief to have had her and known her.”

About Heidi Prescott

Passionate about writing her whole life, Heidi Prescott joined Beacon Health System in 2015 and currently serves as Director of Communications. A former newspaper journalist who has experience in TV, radio, magazines and social media, Heidi loves storytelling, photography and spending time in nature.