Choosing Hope and Grace: Two Babies Who Shared One Heart
Mother Dies from Cancer but Spared Her Baby From Abortion
Miracle baby: Mother Successfully Battles for Right to Deliver Healthy Baby Despite Terminal Cancer(2009)
Choosing Hope and Grace: How Two Babies Who Shared One Heart Momentarily Brought Heaven to Earth
Conjoined twins Hope and Grace Klare share one heart. Parents Luci and Chris say they were “grateful” to be given the chance to love these two children.
Luci and Chris were barely married three months when, in December 2008, a pregnancy test revealed that they were nine months away from becoming a family. The couple was exuberant.
“It was joyful and frightening, but mostly pure elation,” recounted Luci on her family’s blog.
But the parents’ elation was short-lived. Two months into the pregnancy a visit to the doctor revealed that Luci was carrying conjoined twins who amazingly shared a single beating heart.
The doctor gave the twins one percent chance of survival.
Luci and Chris remember experiencing an impossible mix of emotions. They were elated by the thought of having twins but devastated by the thought of losing their babies so quickly.
The couple spent a number of days crying in each other’s arms, trying to find a way to make sense of the situation.
“God, why us?,” they asked time and time again.
Luci found consolation in remembering the loud and clear thumping of her babies’ heartbeat that she had heard during the doctor’s appointment. “When I heard their heart beat for the first time, I was in love.” The echo of that heartbeat in her memory reminded her that she was still a mother and these unusual babies were still her children.
“It didn’t matter what form they came in or what their chances were, they were our children,” the parents realized.
But the parents could not help but look upon the forthcoming birth of their children with fear and uncertainty.
“We struggled countless times, but we took it one day at a time and one prayer at a time. Each day brought new hope as we grew closer to them being born. We still cried often together — when we were scared of what our future held — but those days were less often than the ones where we laughed and felt overjoyed to feel them kick, to see them grow in our weekly ultrasounds, and to hear their heart beating…”
While the parents did not “completely understand” how to make sense of what was happening, they “simply wanted to trust” that what was put before them “was the will of God, and therefore perfect”.
Hope and Grace basking in the love of their father Chris.
Luci and Chris’s close friends and family members found it hard to understand why the young couple was given such a heavy burden to bear. But the young couple began to see things through the eyes of faith.
“We feel chosen for this task”, the parents learned to say to their friends and family members. “Our sufferings come in so many different ways and in so many different sizes. The suffering is only not knowing when they will be with us or leave us. But we have been chosen and are grateful to be given this chance to love two children of whom many mothers and fathers would have chosen to terminate their chances of life.”
Treasuring the Gift
In June 2009, Luci gave birth to conjoined girls, naming them Hope and Grace. Together they weighed 6.8 pounds. Each had a full head of hair.
“They were born kissing and hugging each other, and they were beautiful,” Chris remembers.
The parents knew that they did not have much time with their precious daughters.
The doctors gently placed the baby girls into the arms of Chris, who immediately baptized them so that they would now belong to God’s family. During the brief ceremony, both girls had their eyes open and were gazing upon their father and their mother.
“One of the girls looked over at her mom and gave her a big wink,” Chris remembers.
For the next 46 minutes, Luci and Chris’s whole universe revolved around treasuring the fragile gift of their tiny children.
Luci held the girls upon her chest, placing their single heart right next to hers. “We cried in joy and love. And we sat there together as a family in love,” she said.
“They watched every breath and savored each second” recounted Luci’s sister Maria who was in the hospital room.
Luci and Chris could not stop gazing upon their girls with love.
Maria recounted how Luci kept saying over and over again, “I’m just bursting with joy, I can’t explain it. I just love them so much.”
“I’m not sure what it feels like for Heaven to pour down on me, but this must be it,” said Luci. “I am just so happy.”
The girls’ time of departure was beginning to draw near. Chris held his babies until they took their last breath and their single heart gave its last beat.
“Then the little girls peacefully, so very peacefully, left for their trip to paradise. Hand in hand, they went eagerly to see the King who created them so specially,” said Maria.
“How I miss your sweet lives”
Shortly after the girls’ passing, Luci and Chris invited family members into the hospital room to bid farewell to the tiny babies.
“Everyone rotated into the hospital room a little at a time,” said Maria. “Most of us held the little treasures and marveled at their tiny hands and long feet … Everyone just kept saying, ‘They are so beautiful.’”
It was finally time for Luci and Chris to say a final farewell to their baby girls. The parents wept bitterly.
“From the depths of their souls came a sorrow that only a parent who has lost a child could know,” said Maria.
22 June 12, Peter Baklinski, COVINGTON, Kentucky,
(Editor’s note: LifeSiteNews dedicates this story to Luci and Chris who celebrate tomorrow the 3rd anniversary of the passing of their children Hope and Grace. Luci told LifeSiteNews that the Klare family is flourishing with baby Joseph being born just in time (2 weeks ago) to give older sister Maria, age 2, a playmate.)
Mother Dies from Cancer but Spared Her Baby From Abortion
28 year-old Chiara C has died and at her funeral in Rome, there was joy amid the sorrow. In fact, there was a kind of triumph, of love over life and life over death — one of those contradictory signs that makes no sense to an efficient world but is transcendently reasonable to the mind of faith:
Chiara was happily married to Enrico P. They had already suffered the loss of two children [born with birth defects] in recent years. . .The couple became popular speakers at pro-life events, in which they shared their testimony about the few minutes they were able t
o spend with their children, David and Maria, before they died.
In 2010, Chiara became pregnant for the third time, and according to doctors the child was developing normally. However, Chiara was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and was advised to begin receiving treatment that would have posed a risk to her pregnancy. http://www.lifenews.com/2012/06/24/mother-dies-who-spared-her-baby-from-abortion-when-cancer-struck/
When Chiara C learned she was pregnant with her third child, it was a great joy that ended in bittersweet tragedy for the young Italian mother, who died this month after postponing cancer treatment to save her cherished baby.
… Chiara and her husband Enrico Petrillo embarked on a remarkable journey of faith in 2010 when they learned that they were pregnant with Francisco – and that Chiara had an aggressive form of cancer.
The news was especially poignant for the couple since both of Francisco’s elder siblings, Maria and David, had been lost shortly after birth. In fact, Chiara and Enrico had become popular pro-life speakers for their stories of their few treasured moments with each of their first two children before their brief lives came to an end.
This time, doctors said Francisco was healthy and developing normally. So when Chiara was advised to begin treatment immediately for her cancer, she declined, waiting for Francisco to be born in May of last year. The cancer progressed over the following year, depriving Chiara of sight in one eye before she finally succumbed on June 13, 2012.
“I am going to heaven to take care of Maria and David, you stay here with Dad. I will pray for you,” Chiara wrote to baby Francisco in a letter, one week before her death…
Although a tragedy to outside observers – and certainly also for Enrico, to whom Chiara was happily married – the couple’s last conversations reveal, in the young husband’s words, “a story of love on the cross” that seemed to conquer even death.
“The truth is that this cross – if you embrace it with Christ – ceases to be as ugly as it looks. If you trust in him, you discover that this fire, this cross, does not burn, and that peace can be found in suffering and joy in death,” said Enrico, according to CNA. “I spent a lot of time this year reflecting on this phrase from the Gospel that says the Lord gives a cross that is sweet and a burden that is light.
“When I would look at Chiara when she was about to die, I obviously became very upset. But I mustered the courage and a few hours before – it was about eight in the morning, Chiara died at noon – I asked her.
“I said: ‘But Chiara, my love, is this cross really sweet, like the Lord says? She looked at me and she smiled, and in a soft voice she said, ‘Yes, Enrico, it is very sweet.’
“In this sense, the entire family didn’t see Chiara die peacefully, but happily, which is totally different.”
Enrico said he would tell his son Francisco when he was older that “the most important thing in life” is to “let yourself be loved in order to love and die happy,” and that “this is what his mother, Chiara, did.”
“She allowed herself to be loved, and in a certain sense, I think she loved everyone in this way,” he said. “I feel her more alive than ever. To be able to see her die happy was to me a challenge to death.”
[ “I’m going to Heaven, you stay here with Dad”
Italian mom sacrifices life for unborn baby by Kathleen Gilbert
ROME, June 25, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – CNA]
Miracle baby: Mother Successfully Battles for Right to Deliver Healthy Baby Despite Terminal Cancer
Carlos explained to me that his wife and mother of five children, named Nereyda, was in the abortion mill because their H.M.O. insurance company would not treat her for her serious stage 4 sarcoma cancer — unless she aborted her 5-month-old unborn child.
PharmFacts E-News Update — 26 Oct 2009