ABOUT US

 

Hearts & Halos is a non-profit organization which provides support to families who are experiencing an anencephalic pregnancy/birth. Through our fund-raising efforts, Hearts & Halos provides financial assistance to families for the funeral costs associated with the loss of one's child from this horrific birth defect.

 

In addition to raising funds to provide financial support for such funeral expenses, we also recognize the importance of further research in this field, and we wholeheartedly endorse the research underway in the Duke Center for Human Genetics at Duke University.

 

Jeff & Kelly LaRue established Hearts & Halos as a tribute to our beloved daughter, Ahbra Diana LaRue. As parents of an anencephalic baby, we know the heartaches and struggles accompanied with this type of birth. Aside from the emotional stress, the burden of the anticipated funeral expenses is something no parent should have to carry during this trying time. It is our hope that we can provide support to parents during this time.

 

If parents make the difficult decision to continue with the pregnancy and are blessed with any time on earth with their baby, it is an experience that will forever change your lives. We want the world to know our Ahbra and the joy that little girl gave us during her short time on earth.

 

Registered with the State of Ohio as a 501(c)(3), Non-Profit Corporation.

AHBRA'S STORY

After months of trying to get pregnant, my husband & I took a test and confirmed our desire for another child was a reality. However, it was a roller coaster of emotions from the beginning. The first trip to the doctor resulted in me being told I was likely going to suffer a miscarriage, as the doctor could not locate the yolk sac. I was sent home & told that I would miscarry in the next few days. Several days later I received a call from the doctor stating that my blood tests continued to show a high hormone level and as a result, at the end of the week we would perform another ultrasond. The end of the week came and much to our relief the baby was there! The error was simply a result of a miscalculated date of conception. We were given a due date of 3/11/11.

Everything was great until 10/11/10, the day of our 19-week visit. This began as an exciting day, as we would find out the baby's sex. But it turned into one of many sad days ahead. We were informed that our baby had a rare neural tube defect called anencephaly. It has a 100% mortalilty rate. We were whisked off to the high risk doctor who confirmed the diagnosis. It was there we finally found out the sex...we were having the little girl we so wanted. We were given the options: terminate the pregnancy or proceed, not knowing whether the baby would die in utero, survive birth, or live for only a short period thereafter. The answer was simple for me. I simply couldn't walk away from the pregnancy after seeing her beautiful little heart beat and feet kick. Thankfully, my husband felt the same way and our journey began.

We decided we would be induced on 3/10/11 so we could plan for family to be with us since we weren't sure how much time on earth Ahbra would be granted. After several scares during labor and delivery, Ahbra Diana LaRue entered this world at 5:28 PM on Thursday, March 10, 2011. She weighed 5 lbs 8 oz and was 18.5 inches long. She fought through labor and delivery and continued to surpass all expectations in the coming days.

We were blessed with the privilege of taking our daughter home on 3/11/11. My little angel went so easy on me at birth that a hospital stay was optional due to the circumstances. Contrary to many of the things we read online about anencephalic babies, Ahbra ate, opened her eyes, smiled, and even let out short cries. Regular visits from the hospice nurse for the next few days provided hope that we may have her for at least a little while. But Ahbra's condition began deteriorating by the end of the week and she passed away in my arms with Daddy holding us at 3:10 AM on 3/17/11. Not a day goes by that we don't think of her. We hope Ahbra serves as an inspiration to you as she has to us.