Ella Grace Reinemeyer was diagnosed with a rare congenital heart defect at just 11-weeks gestation. After a stressful and worrisome pregnancy full of complicated tests and workups, Ella finally made her arrival into the world on November 19th, 2008. Enduring open heart surgery at just 5-days old and spending the first 3-weeks of her life in the hospital, Ella was a true blessing from above.
She was brought home with the love of her parents and family on December 7th, 2008 and quickly made her angelic presence known. Despite requiring intravenous antibiotics twice daily and tube feedings every 3 hours during the first two months of her stay at home, Ella quickly grew into a beautiful and lively little girl.
Her persistence to overcome her illness, combined with her curious and often feisty personality eventually allowed Ella to do many things that many other children often enjoy, including going to a live circus, flying on an airplane, splashing in the swimming pool, and taking stroller rides with her parents to the park. Ella especially enjoyed playing with her many toys and watching her favorite cartoon show, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
Although Ella would require a second surgery to repair her congenital heart defect, she continued to develop into a beautiful young lady with an infectious smile and a determination to take on life’s adventures.
She grew to love stroller rides to the ice cream shop with her parents during the summer, and even enjoyed eating her sweet potatoes from time to time.
On a day that started like any other, Ella woke up with a mild fever and was acting unlike her usual self. After her symptoms persisted throughout the day, Ella was taken to the Emergency Department, where multiple physicians and nurses examined her.
She underwent blood work, ultrasounds, and chest x-rays, among other tests, all of which returned normal. After being told by her physicians that Ella was perfectly healthy, her parents began to prepare her belongings to return home for the evening.
Ella was scooped up into her mother’s arms where she gave a brief cry, and suddenly stopped breathing. Although doctors rushed to her side and attempted to revive her, there was nothing they could do to bring her young life back to us. Ella Grace passed away at the young age of 9 months and 6 days in the early morning hours of August 25th, 2009.
Although her physical presence has left us, her spirit lives on in our hearts and her smile is never far from our minds.
Ella’s full but shortened life has inspired her parents to carry on in her memory and in her name by establishing this organization to help other parents who have experienced the loss of a child.
We hope that in some way we are able to touch others’ lives the same way Ella has touched ours.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14