Article Type: Blog

Overcoming Loss and Celebrating Life


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AdventHealth for Children was recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the best children’s hospital in Florida for newborn care and number 31 nationally. This national recognition demonstrates our focus on the families and babies we treat every day. Ashley and her husband Ben, along with their young children, are just one of the families who received this unparalleled care.

Ashley Ellis was a busy mom working as the Community Relations and Events Manager at 4Rivers Restaurant Group and taking care of her two children, Lucy and Wyatt, when she found out she was pregnant with twins. Ashley and her husband, Ben were full of joy at the news.

Ashley started to have complications and was rushed to AdventHealth for Women, formerly Florida Hospital for Women. At 16 weeks pregnant, doctors suspected one of the babies had a ruptured amniotic sac. She was immediately referred to a high risk OBGYN. Ashley decided to name the boys immediately to start praying for them, Aiden Jett and Shane Keegan.

Ashley experienced more issues and immediately went to AdventHealth for Women, where nurses discovered she was having small contractions. She was transferred to Labor and Delivery where she met a nurse named April.

“Nurse April took care of me. April was truly a Godsend. She stayed by my side, devoted exclusively to managing my care, reducing labor symptoms and monitoring my progress. Mostly, I had to manage my fear. At not yet 23 weeks, my boys were not viable for birth. April told me with confidence that today was not the day these boys would be born.”

The longer Ashley was in the hospital, the harder it became on their family. Ben remained at home with their four-year-old daughter and two-year-old son. She would often log into her family’s play room camera to see her kids playing when she missed them.

On Thanksgiving evening, Ashley’s family came to visit with her. After a relaxing lunch, she suddenly felt cramping and was transferred to labor and delivery. At 27 weeks, Ashley gave birth. Shortly after, she received the devastating news: baby Shane’s heart stopped beating the moment he was born due to the rupturing amniotic sac early in the pregnancy. As shock and devastation set in, Ashley and Ben knew that their surviving baby Aiden was a miracle.

Ashley and Ben visited Aiden, who was transferred to the NICU immediately after he was born. Ashley describes this time as uncertain and anxiety provoking. However, Aiden was a fighter and was able to finally come home after spending 100 days in the NICU. She was extremely thankful for the NICU’s Child life Services, which helped her other children process loss of life. Today, Ashley give back by volunteering in the hospital and NICU.

After all she has been through, Ashley’s attitude can only be described as thankful. In her December 2018 Christmas card, she says “After it all, we are left with broken, but joyful hearts. And yet, in the midst of our journey, God has blessed us with so much to be grateful for.”


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  • AdventHealth for Children ranked No. 31 nationally and No. 1 in Florida for neonatology.