When we found out we were having another baby back in January of 2022, we knew we wanted to do a few things a little differently. Little did we know everything would turn out different for our family. Where gender reveal parties and celebrations on pregnancies with families are commonplace, we decided we wanted to make Eliza's coming into this world a surprise...for everybody.
We told Eliza's older sisters (who are 4 and 6) at around 20 weeks about their younger sister and told them how we wanted to keep it a surprise. They didn't tell a soul. We are very proud of our surprise keepers and we know they loved their sister very much and wanted her home just as badly as we did. When 30 weeks rolled around Eliza's mom was not measuring as big as she did with the other kids so when we went in and discovered that our daughter was in the one percentile in weight we were flooded with anxiety on what was going to happen. The healthcare staff were very helpful in setting forth a plan to make everything successful.
After revealing our surprise to family in exchange for the much-needed support up to the birth, our daughter was born on August 26th, 2022. She was tiny. She needed help. She was beautiful. By some miracle her life was saved, and to this day we credit the Riverton Hospital staff with helping to do that. They discovered a heart defect during an echocardiogram and immediately took action to have her life flighted over to Primary Children's hospital where she was diagnosed with Coarctation of the Aortic Arch, alongside a VSD and ASD. We were told she was too small for surgery and would need to grow in order for the cardiac staff to help. Despite her clinical decline in the couple of weeks that followed she held strong, was able to grow to the minimum size needed and was able to have her life saving surgery.
Miracle number two. From there our little heart warrior fought an uphill battle. Dealing with weeks of multiple pneumatosis scares, having mild lung disease, and having to have a tracheostomy performed due to a paralyzed vocal cord and a mild bronchial defect. She defied all the odds that were set before her and touched the hearts of all those who took care of her.
She passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on December 12, 2022, where family gathered to show their love and appreciation. She showed us that no matter the odds stacked against us that we could accomplish anything we set out to do, especially with the support of family and friends. We thank the Primary Children NICU/CICU/PICU staff for helping take care of our daughter in our absence. For the support from friends who have been there for us when we least expect it. For the family who helped us fill in the gaps and visit, hold, and love our sweet Eliza when we could not. We know that all will be elated when we can hold our loving daughter again
A small time to gather and celebrate Eliza's life will take place on Monday, December 19, 2022, at the Larkin Mortuary in Riverton, 3688 West 12600 South from 5:30-7PM, after which a short informal service will take place where few thoughts and memories will be shared.
I love you Eliza, you're so sweet. You're so cute and you were really nice. I'm going to miss you. -Ellie
I'm so happy I was able to hold you Eliza. I love you. I'm sad you won't be able to come home to us but I'm happy I'll be able to see you again. -Anastasia
Eliza’s beautiful big eyes could light up any room, and her smile was like a ray of sunshine on a cold winter day. Loving her and cuddling her will always be one of my most cherished memories. I love you sweet girl!!! -Tracie
My Dearest Sweet Little Eliza Bean, from day one you stole my heart. Your eyes and observation of the world around you was captivating. Your difficulties were daunting but you still got through them like a warrior. I loved holding you in my arms and feeling the trust you had in me, the all encompassing love you radiated. I know you had no voice but I heard you. I will keep you in my heart until we meet again. Love you. -Natasha
Eliza came into this world with a broken heart and left us 109 days later. Yet in that brief time, she healed our hearts, softened minds, and brought peace to all who met her. She overcame painful surgeries and uncomfortable wires and tubes. Through it all, she smiled, she loved being held, and she endured. I will treasure every moment I had with Eliza and one day hold her in my arms again. -Troy
Eliza, Grandpa is going to miss all of the snuggling and you sleeping in my arms. I could do it all day. I miss watching you dream as you lay in my arms, always wondering what you were thinking. I’ll miss that little button nose of yours. Thank you for those few precious moments we had together. I’ll never forget. Dream sweet dreams sweetheart. -Kendall
Sorry Eliza. The day you were born was of great concern to me. Learning of what ailed you frightened me to know you could be taken from us early. To the day you met your first surgery, I stood by waiting for that dreaded call. A call which never came. This was your first major obstacle you conquered with many more to come. Knowing you got through the first one would lead me to have the confidence you would get through the next one. We would stand by you every step of the way to accompany you on your journey. Celebrate your achievements and support you during your failures. However, one Monday morning, that call I dreaded would come. Blindsided and unprepared, we weeped. Mourned the loss of a daughter, a sister, a grandchild, and a niece. We are thankful for you with the short amount of time we had with you. I'm sorry the time I finally held you was that Monday morning. While I weeped with you in my arms, I'm glad I got to say goodbye to you. We will be there as a family for your mother and father. Thank you! Goodbye and good luck Eliza. -Kyle
It is amazing how much love there is for someone who would live for only a few short months and that few would have the privilege to see. It is quite impressive as well how someone with a broken heart would be able to soothe and soften so many others. She had so many trials in her life and yet when you looked at her, she took them all in stride. Her life was short, but the memories of her and the hearts she touched will live forever. -Andrew
Sweet Eliza, our time together was short, but you will be loved forever in our hearts. You are loved by so many, and we will all cherish you always and forever. You will always be one of my special nieces. Rest so gently and peacefully our sweet baby angel. Till will meet again, Eliza Dani Keetch. -Alex
Eliza, Your journey on this earth was short but will be forever remembered. Your soul was so tender and your will so strong. Your presence touched the hearts of all and then some. Although you had to leave us we will never forget. Sweet baby Eliza you can finally be at rest. One day we will be able to continue your journey together again. -Tawni
Eliza made me realize how precious life is. She brought love and compassion and made our family closer. Even though I didn’t get to see her physically, I have a deep love for her and I will miss her. -Adam
Words cannot deeply express how very very sorry we are for your sweet angel Eliza's passing. You are in our thoughts and prayers that you will be comforted and feel peace as you wait to be able to see her again. God bless all of you. Love Becky and Joe
Tristan and Colton, Our hearts are so sad at the loss of your sweet baby Eliza. What a beautiful, sweet angel! We send our love and thoughts and prayers. Eliza—We felt your beautiful spirit all the way from Washington! We could see the wisdom in your bright eyes! We are so glad you came to fill the world with so much happiness and love, and sad that you had to leave us so soon.
I am so sorry for the passing of this beautiful angel. I pray that you may have peace.