The loss of a child is something no parent should ever have to deal with.
One Wichita woman who experienced that pain years ago is now looking to provide an outlet for herself and others to find some peace.
“I was still in denial,” said Stacy Carmine. “I wasn’t ready for that pregnancy to end. I wasn’t ready for what I knew was coming in the days ahead.”
September 12, 1992 is a day Carmine will never forget.
“I laid there in labor for hours and hours and can’t even remember how many hours because it was just so traumatic,” she said.
At 36 weeks pregnant she had to give birth to her son, Nathan, who she found out days before was a stillborn.
“The doctor laid the baby on my chest,” said Carmine. “And, he said ‘just remember only the tiniest angels are chosen to be God’s biggest heroes.'”
Carmine and her family were only left with a few memories of Nathan when they moved from Michigan to Utah, a picture of his casket, and what they could take from the hospital.
“Footprints of the son, his little IV bracelet that he had, and the little hat that he wore,” she said.
Two years later, Carmine lost her mother around the same time as Nathan’s death. And right after that, she received a sign, a story on the news about an Angel of Hope in Salt Lake City, where families of dead children could go grieve.
“Every year after that, on my son’s birthday we would make a special day trip and lay a rose and pay our respects,” she said.
The military brought Carmine’s family to Wichita years later.
But, the one thing that was missing, was a place of healing like the Angel of Hope provided them.
So, she plans to bring the first one to the state of Kansas, not only for her, but for other parents who also need a place to come together.
“Yes, it’s going to be a memory of my son,” said Carmine. “But, there are so many other grieving parents out there. I think it’s just going to be a beautiful place where they can find peace and comfort.”
Carmine has partnered up with Cars for the Cause on the memorial
The city of Haysville has approved to have it located in Dorner Park.
Carmine is still fundraising for the monument and hopes to have it in place by Nathan’s birthday this September.
For anyone who would like to donate, you can go to the GoFundMe. There is also an account set up at any Meritrust Credit Union location under the name Angel of Hope Kansas/Stacy Carmine.