Turning Grief Into Friendship

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Jaime and Jeremy Connor found out they were expecting their first child in 2020. The couple’s pregnancy proceeded in a traditional manner until they learned their daughter Delaney tested positive for Trisomy 18, a condition caused by an error in cell division that results in a third chromosome on number 18. Research shows that 50% of babies with this genetic challenge carried to term are born alive and that the risk of potentially life-threatening medical conditions at that point is high. The couple was crushed.

“We were in tears and in shock,” shared Jaime. “The tears flowed down my face and my heart just sank. Jeremy and I hugged and cried together in disbelief."

With a strong faith and hearts full of hope, the couple decided to continue Jaime’s pregnancy. Unfortunately, in September, the couple’s daughter was stillborn. During the following difficult days, the couple relied on their medical team for emotional support.

“The doctors and nurses at Baystate and the palliative care team are absolutely phenomenal and we are forever grateful for them,” shared Jaime.

A few team members in particular are remembered fondly by the couple, including Dr. Mustafa Caylan, with whom the couple built a special bond and friendship that continues today.

“He provided endless support throughout our entire journey with Delaney. He was such a crucial part of the wonderful team we had surrounding us during the delivery,” said Jeremy.

For Dr. Caylan, his work and connection with his patients is personal.  

“I think these are life-altering moments and they make a dent in our lives, in my life, as well,” he shared.

These special connections shaped the couple’s experience at Baystate Medical Center. Two individuals who aided in the grieving process were palliative care team members Michelle O’Neill and Megan Mayo. The Palliative Care team helps keep people comfortable and provides an added layer of support for patients and families. Michelle and Megan helped Jeremy and Jaime make keepsakes in their daughter’s memory that the couple shared they will treasure forever.

The doctors and nurses at Baystate and the palliative care team are absolutely phenomenal and we are forever grateful for them.

“Just having the care we had in that room for the entire weekend – people who treated us like we were the only people in the hospital at that moment was huge for us,” said Jeremy. “Everything we needed, they were right there.”

“Baystate is special to us because they were there for us during one of the most difficult experiences of our lives and we can never thank them enough for the support,” added Jaime. “We truly felt cared about. They made us feel special, which is why they are very special to us.”

The couple wants other families going through something similar to have faith, stay positive, and seek support. “Lean on the care you have, the doctors and nurses who are there with you, because you never know who you’re going to meet and become a forever friend and confidant,” said Jeremy.

You can support care for families like the Connors by making a donation today.

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