Our Life together had started out as so many other couples. Ron and I met and became engaged shortly there after, three months later we set a date and we were married on the 16th of February 1974. Our first child, Ronnie was born ten months later. Life as a Mother was everything I ever dreamed it to be! Six months after our first son was born I became pregnant for the second time, this child would be yet another son, we named him Christopher. I had two beautiful son's. I never knew I could feel so complete. I loved being a mother. My children were gifts from God, so precious. My body seemed to be running like a clock, six months later I was pregnant once again. This was going to be my third baby. Even though I was very young, twenty-three at the time.

This is where Ryan's Life begins! Ryan was born three hours and twelve minutes after his oldest brothers third birthday. Little Ronnie was so excited he so wanted this new baby to be born on his special day. Ryan's entrance into this world only took a couple of hours. There were no complications what so ever. He was born on December 19th at three twelve a.m., with eyes of blue and hair of brown and weighing exactly eight pounds; his height was twenty-one inches long. With one look at this precious new life I knew there was just something special about him that shone bright. I feed him the way God meant for a woman to feed and nourish their children and with the milk from my breast I was to provide him with the best.

Everything with Ryan seemed to be going as normal, until Ryan was three weeks old, it was a Friday around 5:00p.m. Ryan had a runny nose and a slight fever so I called the Doctor, (Dr. Sandor Benedek,MD) who delivered our sons, who happened also to be our family Doctor as well. I couldn't get an appointment till Monday, so I did what the Doctor said to do for Ryan until our appt. time. Only over the course of forty-eight hours his appetite seemed to lessen, his skin became pale and I noticed he slept more than normal. I became real frightened when I saw little white bubbles forming around Ryan's mouth. I picked up the phone book and went down through the list of Pediatricians and came across one, Dr. WenHar Huang. When I told him Ryan's symptoms he told us to bring him right in. The trip took twenty minutes, Dr. Huang took one look at Ryan and said we have to take him over to the hospital. The Dr. carried Ryan over to the hospital himself, where he was administered antibiotics immediately. My husband and I where taken aside and asked if Ryan had been baptized, we said no. The nurse then said, We need to give Ryan his last rights because it doesn't look like he is going to make it. We just collapsed in each others arms sobbing, "Oh Dear God no, please don't take Ryan from us." Then a nurse came out of the room that they took Ryan into and said that he was going to be transferred to another hospital that had the facilities to treat such a critically ill child as Ryan.

Dr. Huang

It was January 9th, 1978, and we were having a blizzard outside. The ArnotOgden Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was a good 45 minutes away. Dr. Huang ordered him transferred by ambulance immediately. I rode in the front seat of the ambulance and my husband, Ron had to drive back home to make arrangements for our other two sons then his father, Charlie drove Ron to the hospital where they had taken Ryan. The two nurses who road in the back of the ambulance were massaging Ryan's feet to keep the blood circulating for his veins had collapsed. That day embedded like concrete in my very soul. I cried and prayed all the way there. We finally arrived and Ryan was rushed up to the neonatal facility, there we were told again, Ryan's chances looked very slim for making it through the night. The Doctor told me if I had not breast-fed Ryan he may not even have made it this far.

Ryan was diagnosed with Bi-lateral Pneumonia, he was in Shock, and suffering from Sepsis and Dehydration and his veins had all collapsed. All we could do now was pray for a miracle. Ron and I did just that, we prayed and cried, all that night till morning came, "Dear Lord, heal our son, please don't take him from us, watch over him and keep him safe."

At that time, We couldn't stay in the neonatal Intensive Care Unit so we stayed out in the waiting room, when daylight came, the Doctor came out and told us Ryan made it through the most crucial time. The Doctor could not explain it, he said as sick as Ryan was, he just could not explain it so the nurses called Ryan the "Miracle Baby". Ron and I just thanked God for answering our prayers and for sending us all these wonderfully trained professionals who had helped give us our son back. Ryan stayed in the hospital neonatal intensive care unit for a week and then was transferred back to the Ira Davenport Hospital in Bath, NY for another week. All this time I had been pumping my breast milk for Ryan's feedings.

The Ira Davenport Hospital where my children were all born.

For me, Life took on another dimension after Ryan's illness. The trees, color of the sky, the smiles on the children's faces, waking to see another new day. Life was never to be taken for granted ever again. We had been more than blessed we had been given the gift of Life. All I knew was I had everything I ever wanted out of life, and the feeling of being totally complete surrounded me. Our three sons, or as I referred to them as '"My Three Sons!" To their Dad they were "The Three Stooges." We watched Ryan excel after his illness, he gained weight and he especially loved to kick his feet to the beat of his mobile music. His check up at the Doctor's was deemed exceptional. Ryan advanced so well that when he was three months we sat him in a walker and he would push himself across our kitchen floor, he loved it. He weighted fifteen pounds, didn't look or act like that of such a young infant. Even though Ryan was in the best of health now I could not bring myself to leave his side at night, I either slept with him in my arms or by my side. I remember one day his Great-grandmother Emerson, was rocking Ryan and she looked over at me and said, "He is going to be a priest when he grows up!" It was a strange thing to say but maybe it was Gram's wisdom of living or her intuition was strong at the time, because we had no idea that soon Ryan would be closer to our Lord than that of a priest, he would be taken from us on the wings of an angel while he lay asleep.

The day before March 31,1978 had been a very fulfilling day as most were spent playing with my children. Ron and I had taken our children next door to Gram Emerson's house to eat dinner, as we often had. We left Gram's house more toward late evening I still had to bathe the children and get them ready for bed. We tucked Ronnie and Chris in around ten o'clock that night Ryan was still awake because he had taken a long nap while we were having dinner. My husband had gone to bed around eleven so it was just Ryan and myself still up. I was exhausted, so Ryan and I laid down for bed a little before midnight.

It wasn't much after I laid down when Ron tapped me on the shoulder and asked me in a demanding sort of tone to please come into OUR bed! Ryan's crib was out in the living room (we lived in a 12x70 trailer at the time) where I had been sleeping since his return from the hospital, so hesitantly I laid him in his crib, kissed him goodnight and whispered, "I love you, sweet dreams!" Must have been around four o'clock in the morning when I felt little Ronnie leaning over me and asking if I would get him a glass of water. I arose from bed with Ronnie in my arms we headed down the hallway, to the kitchen. As I went by Ryan's crib I stopped to check on him. Putting Ronnie down to my side, I reached into the crib and fear gripped my entire body, he wasn't there, not where I had laid him. I felt toward the end of the crib and I remember throwing the covers back, the only thought in my head at this time was that someone had stolen my baby! As I felt toward the end of the crib I remembered being so relieved that my hand touched Ryan and that he hadn't been stolen out of his crib. As I hurried to pick him up, I turned him to face me, oblivious of Ronnie still standing by my side, Ryan's face was discolored and I knew I just knew, I let out a scream! "Oh my God, no, Oh my God!" I heard Ron yell out from the bedroom, "What is it!" I was crying and said, "I think Ryan is dead!" "Oh my God No!", Ron screamed as he ran down the hallway.

Frantic and in shock I laid Ryan on the couch and we took turns doing CPR and mouth-to-mouth on our baby. Somehow, Ron managed to call an ambulance and his family, who lived just up the road. All I wanted was someone to help us, "God this can't be happening, No you can't take my baby, Please!"No! No! I kept crying out in desperation. Ron and I stayed working on Ryan for what seemed hours to no avail. Everything seems a blur the pain of losing Ryan was incomprehensible.


All I remember was the house had filled up with family and friends, and then the coroner arrived, not an ambulance. I can't even say if Ronnie had even left my side from when I put him down to check on Ryan. All I knew was my baby was dead and people were walking all through our house. Two men were leaning over Ryan from the Coroners office and they were there talking to each other and then they told us it was "Crib Death", "Sudden Infant Death", all I knew was I wanted my baby back. They left Ryan on the couch covered with a white sheet I have no real recollection of much of that day except that someone in the family had taken down Ryan's crib as if he had never existed. I know because I saw through tear soaked eyes yet I couldn't move or say anything. All I could do was watch as Ryan's Life was swept away. We will never recover for how can you when your heart has been ripped right out of you. Sure Life goes on and so don't you, but never as we once were.

This day bore a hole through all of our hearts, for life as we knew it would never be the same we would never be the same. These are some of the different things we were told as words of comfort: "There is no rhyme or reason. Can't be prevented nor predicted. "Lay your baby on his stomach" they said. At that time in 1978, where we lived there wasn't any 911. What if this, What if that, Maybe it was something you did or forgot to do. Well at least you have other children. My mother-n-law said, "You think You have problems, our unwed daughter is going to have a baby..."

Nothing but nothing is crueler than the death of your own child or children. God gives you the strength, and the ability to hold on to memories and the ability to get pass the ignorance of others who Thank God have not suffered the greatest loss of all. Ryan would have been twenty- four this year (2001) and I still feel the emptiness within my heart. Yet in my children's and grandchildren's eyes I see my Ryan looking back at me, which gives me some solace for I know he is letting me know he will always be watching over us on the wings of an angel.

Ryan's Tribute Quilt can be viewed by Clicking Here



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Thank You Kelly for making
this Thanksgiving Plate for Ryan.

Ryan's photo with wings
at the top of the page
was made for me by a
Very Special Lady called Michelle.
And her Angel's name is Sara. 
Thank You Michelle for your dedication, compassion
and kindness. God Bless.


In Memory of All Those
Who Lost Their Lives On September 11th, 2001.


Please don't forget to sign one of my Guestbooks
We have two now, just in case one doesn't work
so good. That way My Mommy knows
who has come to visit me, Thank You!



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Page last updated on June 15, 2013