Tonight, I remember my niece, Kyomi, who was only with us for four short months. I remember the day she was born and the first time I saw her. She had those big, rosy cheeks like so many Murphy kids. Her kidney problems developed quickly and family visits were limited, so it was a memorable moment for me to hold her for the first time. She had a full head of curly, soft black hair. I remember sitting there and feeling the softness and watching how the touch calmed her as I rocked her in the hospital.
I will never forget the day we lost her. It was a long day with the whole clan in attendance, taking turns in the hospital room. We knew the time was close as we watched her numbers on the monitor slowly deteriorate, yet she was still actively giving “baby kisses.” Remember those open mouthed, wet bits of love? She had one for every member of the family.
As her condition continued to deteriorate and her body slowed down, the staff brought the “death couch” into the room. I HATE that couch! It always represents such a sad time in my mind. We continued to take turns staying with Kyomi’s parents while they remained with their daughter. The final moments haunt me today. She kept trying to give those baby kisses to her parents while she struggled with her last breaths. As a mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunt, or uncle, our nature is to protect and help those in our charge. To watch a little one go and lack the ability to help is unbearable.
We survived the weeks that followed with many tears, hugs, prayers, drinks, and bonding at Nannie and Papa’s. Before Kyomi’s condition deteriorated, we made plans to have a fund raiser, hoping to pay for a kidney transplant if she made it a year. We decided to hold the gathering and donate the money to charity. While Kyomi’s parents spent those many months in the hospital with their sick daughter, we noticed the challenges facing parents of sick children. In the hard working, Murphy family way, we wanted to address that issue, so Kyomi’s Gift was formed.
Kyomi’s Gift helps other families who are struggling to make ends meet while attempting to spend time with their sick children. We provide gas cards for those many trips to the hospital, we purchase groceries, we help pay bills, and we provide many other types of assistance. We hold two fund raisers per year, a chili cook-off and children’s games at the Hastings’ Summerfest.
Are you struggling to balance work and caring for a sick child? Check out our organization. Perhaps we can help. You can find more information on our Facebook Page (Kyomi’s Gift).
Want to help remember this angel? Please consider making a donation to our organization. We operate under the Barry Community Foundation. Please earmark any donations for “Kyomi’s Gift.” Thank you for your support!
Also, if you are moved by this story, please share Kyomi’s journey via Facebook, Twitter, or other outlets!