Ralph Funk

Ralph Funk, RN

PICU
Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center
Fontana, California
United States

photo requested 7/5/12...

When I’m counting all my blessings, there’s something I always do, I stop and say a “Thank You Lord” for a very special you. For you’re someone who’ll forever be a dear and precious part of the warm and treasured memories I hold within my heart.

Ralph, I am glad I found this card because it describes exactly how we feel about you. You will always hold a special place in our hearts for everything you’ve done for us and for the love you showed our little boy.

I don’t know if I ever mentioned this to you, but when my amniotic sac started leaking and I was beginning to dilate, I was only 22 weeks and 2 days gestation at the time. The L&D doctor removed my cerclage, and said it was only a matter of time before I went into labor. He said I would go into labor most likely that night, or if not, then surely within 3 days. The worst part of this was that our baby was just too young, so no medical interventions would even be done to try and save him until I was 24 weeks. My husband and I were devastated to think that our baby wouldn’t even be given the chance to live. Those 3 days were the darkest, worst days of my life. We cried a lot for the baby we would never get to know. We prayed a lot too and asked God to just give him a chance to live. We wanted to be able to meet and hold him, and tell him how much we loved him.

When those 3 days were over and I hadn’t gone into labor yet, we began to hope that I would make it to 24 weeks and I did. Our son was born on the day I was exactly 24 weeks. Somehow, I don’t believe that was a coincidence. I think God allowed him to come and be with us so we would get the chance to do all the things we had asked for. And he was so strong through it all, he has given us so much inspiration to live better lives and to love those around us much more. We miss him terribly, but knowing we will see him again one day has given us strength to go on…..for our other children.

Ralph, I wanted to thank you for everything, for just being you. You are truly an angel on earth. We couldn’t have asked for a better nurse to take care of our little boy. Thank you for encouraging us to care for him and change his diapers (even though I was very nervous). Thank you for allowing me to hold him, as these are the memories I will cherish for the rest of my life. I got to care for my tiny son with your help and encouragement. Thank you for being a friend to us during our time in the NICU. We knew we wanted to be nothing but positive while were around him and you helped us to do that as well.

I would love if you stayed in touch with us because you are never far from my thoughts. I wish you nothing but the best. You are a beautiful person. May God bless you and your family always.

I have enclosed the little booklet which has all of your favorite parts from the Dr. Seuss book we read to our son every day. Everyone read this story aloud at his memorial service. It was a beautiful moment, wonderful.