When Tee and John Kelly talk about the loss of their stillborn daughter, Faith Marguerite, it is a hopeful and surprisingly uplifting conversation. On July 27, 2000, Tee, along with her four young children, visited the office of her obstetrician, Basharat Aziz, MD, for what she thought would be a routine sonogram. "I was full term and expected to give birth in a few days. The kids were so excited about their baby sister coming. What followed was achingly heartbreaking but such a beautiful affirmation of God working through us to make the unbearable, bearable," says Tee.
The nurse in Dr. Aziz's office could not find a heartbeat and quickly arranged for Tee to have a follow up sonogram at UM St. Joseph. "I honestly didn't think anything was wrong – maybe the machine wasn't working – but for some reason I stopped by our pediatrician's office on my way to Radiology. The receptionist, Dolores, was busy but dropped everything and insisted on going with me to the sonogram. This was the beginning of the 'loving service' that defines St. Joseph and that we would rely on so completely when we learned that our beautiful Faith had died in utero."
To explain the care that Tee and John received at UM St. Joseph, John quotes Matthew 5:4: "'Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.' I still get emotional when I think about the love we felt from everyone at St. Joe's. Dr. Aziz and all the nurses cried with us. They understood that our family members needed to hold our baby, multiple times. They walked with us through our pain. They mourned with us. We will never forget their love."
When a capital campaign to renovate and expand portions of the Mother Baby Unit was initiated in 2014, John's parents, Frank and Janet Kelly, honored Faith Marguerite by making a leadership gift to the campaign. When completed in 2017, The Faith Marguerite Kelly Welcome Center Dedicated in Loving Memory by Janet and Frank Kelly & the Kelly Family will be the first space families see when they enter the Mother Baby Unit. In addition, their gift will fund a designated bereavement room where families who experience a loss can begin to process their grief. And, John and Tee, parents now to six children, made a gift to the renovation of the James and Bette O'Conor Nursery.
Both Tee and John say Faith Marguerite gave them the extraordinary gift of true empathy. "Now we know how to be there for others when they are in pain," they say. John and Tee's commitment to God, their family, and their boundless joy for life itself, is affirmed by their unshaken belief that Faith, in all her beauty, is always with them.