Our baby boy Asher Gangadharan Krop was born on August 28th, 2015 beautiful and healthy. As we settled in for the night I remember being so happy and looking forward to the girls meeting their brother the next day. As Asher grew up, our love for him grew too. Elliot and I felt a special connection with Asher and he made our family feel complete. Adia, our oldest, was a second mom to him, holding him and watching him when I needed to go to another room. Ayla, the middle sister, was his playmate and competitor for attention. She loved hugging and manhandling him.
On December 10, 2016, when Asher was 15 months old, he had a fever. I was out of town and the kids were home with Elliot. We thought it was a cold and he would be better in a few days. The next morning, Asher still had a fever and when speaking to Elliot over the phone I could hear Asher’s breathing. I asked Elliot to count his breaths and his breaths were 80 per minute, which was way too high. Elliot rushed Asher to the children’s hospital, and soon after arrival the doctors made the decision to intubate as Asher’s oxygen saturation was too low. Upon hearing this, I booked the first flight back to Atlanta the next day as I was out of town visiting my father in the hospital. Asher was diagnosed with pneumonia due to human metapneumovirus (HMPV). HMPV can cause upper and lower respiratory disease in people of all ages, and is in the same virus family as the more widely known RSV (respiratory syncytial virus.)
Over the course of the next few days in the hospital, Asher’s health went up and down all the while I was reassured that Asher would be okay since he was a healthy boy with no known pre-existing conditions. I accepted the reality that Asher was very sick but that in some time this would all be over and he would come home.
On Thursday December 15th, it was my turn to stay home with our daughters for the night. I got a call from Elliot around 4am telling me to come to the hospital now. Asher’s oxygen levels had desaturated to the mid 70s and nothing they were trying was working. They said the only option was extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. ECMO is an advanced life support technique used for patients with life-threatening heart and/or lung problems. Asher survived the surgery to hook him up to the ECMO machine and his oxygen saturation levels were much better and his vitals stabilized. Even though Asher’s surgery went well we were petrified. When on ECMO there is a chance of blood clots, therefore Asher had to be on blood thinners, which increased his chances for internal bleeding. It was a constant balance between clotting and bleeding and the exact balance had to be maintained or Asher’s life would be in danger. Again, we were reassured that Asher would be ok and his lungs just needed to rest.
Early in the morning on December 18th, Asher went into cardiac arrest and CPR was performed. The staff stabilized Asher, but now they looked scared. At that point the doctors were all unsure of the reason for the change in Asher’s condition. A few hours later, Asher went into cardiac arrest again. I remember slowly standing up, staring as people started running into his room. Many people started working on Asher and a doctor led me to a chair just outside of his room. I called Elliot and told him to come immediately. A doctor and nurse sat with me while I cried, heaved, and hyperventilated. I watched as people switched off performing CPR on Asher. At one point the doctor came out of the room and told me he didn’t know what was wrong, but that Asher was dying and he had two more things to try before stopping. I screamed NO and cried and moaned, then a few minutes later everyone stopped.
Our grief journey has been difficult, as you would imagine. Talking about Asher and our grief, attending support groups such as the ones offered by Rachel’s Gift, meeting other parents who have lost a child, and having friends who can listen have helped our family. We keep Asher’s memory alive by including him in part of our everyday conversations, lighting a candle for him on every 18th, singing songs we used to sing to him, and telling his baby sister all about him.
To continue Asher’s legacy, we have created the Asher Krop Memorial Fund in support of research for better treatments and a vaccine for HMPV as currently there is no specific antiviral therapy or vaccine. Before catching this virus, Asher was a healthy 15-month-old baby. He fell ill and died in one week’s time. It is very important to our family to get as many answers as possible to understand this tragedy that unfortunately affects many healthy children.
To show your support, visit Asher Krop Memorial Fund
by Tiffany · posted by Rachel's Gift
Birthdate: October 4, 2012
Parents: Tiffany & Chad
Nashton James Hood was born on October 4, 2012 at 3:30 p.m. He was 8 lbs. 4 oz. and 20" long. He was perfect. He had his grandfather's beautiful skin color and dark hair. Much different than big brother, Bexton, who is very fair skinned with light blonde hair. Bexton loved his little brother so much! He wasn't even 2 yet. We were over the moon to have 2 boys. We loved our little chunky boy! Turns out Nashton was very colicky and inconsolable for the first three months. He threw up a lot and Bexton gagged. We thought it was funny! Between his third and fourth month he became happier. We were finally getting in the swing of two different babysitters and me going back to work. Everything was going good! I was so excited to take his 4 month photo in a few days, because he most likely wouldn't be crying this month!
Birthdate: December 13, 2017
Parents: Cynthia & Andrew
On December 12th, 2017, I went in for my last OB appointment at 40 weeks pregnant, to check on our sweet baby boy. I notified my doctor that I had not felt my baby move much all weekend. She checked for his heartbeat for what felt like hours, then she tells me that his heartbeat wasn't as loud or as strong as she needed it to be. I was then sent to the hospital to check on everything. When we got to the hospital, they tried to find the heartbeat with the heart monitor and then with an ultrasound. At this point, even after all of this, the thought that my precious child had passed away never crossed my mind. Then my doctor walks in, shuts the door and pulls the curtain behind her and at that moment I knew. She looked at me and said "I am so sorry but he has passed away". I just cried as she sat at the foot of the bed and as my husband held me crying as well.
Birthdate: October 12, 2017
Parents: Nicole & Herman
In honor of Ava's 1st birthday.
My husband and I met in high school gym class, I was just 14 and he was 17, but we immediately fell for each other. We started dating, and after 4 years we had our first son. Shortly after we had our son, we continued to try to grow our little family and had a daughter and another son. Unfortunately, along the way we lost 6 babies to miscarriage and decided it was time to stop trying. Enduring all of those losses was hard, but I had this feeling that we were still missing a piece to our puzzle. That’s when Ava’s story started.
Birthdate: February 4, 2018
Parents: Megan & Matt
In May of 2017 I married my best friend and we knew we wanted children as soon as possible. We were so happy to find out I was pregnant just a few months after our wedding day. A healthy little boy would be joining our family and we could not have been more excited. As most families do, we waited until we were in the “safe” zone to announce our pregnancy, or so we thought. Absolutely nothing forecasted what we were about to endure in the coming months; you never imagine yourself being that unexplained 1%.
It would be an honor to tell your family's story. We want to recognize these losses in hopes of bringing awareness to those not living our reality.