Sweet Zoe Rose

*Please note, the following post is a rather detailed account of our experience with the hospital stay and death of our daughter.*

I can hardly believe I am typing these words. We lost our sweet little girl. She had been doing so well, had even weathered her first cold and ear infection with a smile on her face. Then two weeks ago we took her to the ER after a visit to our ped because she had a high heart rate, fever, cough, and vomiting. The ER doc sent us home after a clear chest xray and said, she has a cold, give her Motrin. A few days later we found ourselves back in the ER because she was not tolerating anything other than Pedialyte on a very slow continuous drip through her feeding tube, still had a fever and high heart rate, and was not urinating. She was admitted due to flu and pneumonia. Miraculously her O2 requirements never went above her home baseline of 3/4 LPM. She didn't feel great, but after a day of fluids and round-the-clock Motrin, Tylenol, and extra breathing treatments she was getting back to being herself after just a few days. Because she was tolerating a continuous feed of her normal formula we were able to come home on Wednesday the 13th.

She had a good night on Wednesday, she slept fairly well and Thursday was a nice day. She napped late in the morning with me and then came out to spend some play time with her sisters. She wasn't 100% back to being Zoe, but we got some smiles and few giggles out of her. Her O2 was still holding steady at 3/4 of a liter until around 1am when she woke up and seemed very restless and in need of a breathing treatment. We ended up giving her treatments every two hours that night, I think she finally went back to sleep in bed with me around 3 for a couple of hours. At which time I did have to turn her up to 1 liter because her sats were hanging around 90% even after the treatment. At 8am it became evident that she was not well, we had her up to 3 liters by the time we got into the car to head to the ER and on the way I had to turn her up to 4 liters...she had not needed this much support since August of last year!

They took us straight to a trauma room, did a chest xray, breathing treatments and put her on the high flow canula at 7 liters. She stabilized, but had a temperature and her xray showed new infiltrates in her lungs...meaning her pneumonia had "blossomed" as the doc put it. They got her down to 5 liters on high flow before we got transported to the PICU later that day. Within hours she had to be put on BI-PAP, which is when we knew things were not going well. They gave her sedation to try and calm her heart rate which had not been below 200+ for hours. Despite the sedation, she held our hands, squeezing my fingers every now and then and even played with my hair like she does when she's trying to sleep. Her sats kept going down and they told us what we feared most, that she would have to be intubated. We had to leave her side for the first time at around 2am Saturday morning. We sat anxiously in the waiting room as the hours ticked by. I knew things were not going well when I saw an RT wheel an oscillator and tank of Nitric down the hall into the PICU.

Finally at 5:30am the doc met us in a family conference room to tell us that she was having a very difficult time. When we went back to see her, it was like I was looking back in time to a year ago, only she wasn't a mere 3 pounds...they had her hooked up to no less than 8 IV drips...including fluids, steroids, antibiotics and I have no idea what else. They had also given her a paralytic drug to keep her from fighting the vent...which they said "you were right, she does not like being ventilated". We held her hands and feet - the few parts of her not intruded by tubes and wires - she was even kicking us...she knew we were there with her.

Around 6:30am one of her RTs from Northside hospital walked into her room. Carolyn had actually kept her alive after her delivery, and happened to be working at Scottish that weekend. She took one look at Zoe's monitors and the vent settings and tears fell from her eyes. She knew what I felt in the pit of my stomach but could not bring myself to acknowledge...the situation at this point was dire.

I'm not sure what time it was or if anything precipitated it, but a quick look up at her monitor showed that her heart rate and bp were dropping, rapidly. No less than 13 docs, nurses, and RTs decended on her bed and brought her back as we looked on through tearful eyes. I have never seen anyone perform chest palpatations on anything other than a CPR doll and it was frightening. Her little body bounced against that hard board like a ragdoll...but they got her back. This time though, there was no pulse ox reading to be found. Her hands and feet were growing ever colder as the blood in her body was flowing to her brain and core organs. Her midsection began to swell as her liver was feeling the effects of all the stuff being pumped into her body. Her skin was becoming blotchy and the doc kept telling us there was no way to know what kind of damage was being done to her brain because she could not oxygenate her blood properly.

One of Zoe's docs from Northside came to be with us as she has been a tremendous source of support and when I called her that morning to tell her Zoe had been intubated she came right over. They talked to us about a procedure called an ECMO (not sure if that's how you spell it) that could be done at the other Children's Hospital nearby. The Cardiac ICU had not immediately said she was not a candidate for this procedure but said if she could be transported they would evaluate her and decide. It was the last thing left to try and save our sweet Zoe Rose. A little while after discussing this with the docs they said they would turn her on her belly, I think because this is how she would have to be for the procedure and they were just trying to by some time as we waited for bed space at the other hospital.

Richard and I were standing outside her room after talking logistics over with Richard's sister when I saw Zoe's doc glance up at the monitor then jump up and run into her room. They lost her heart rate again and began working on her. The doc came out and asked if we wanted them to continue or if we wanted to hold her. We couldn't stand for her to suffer any longer and asked to hold her. They quickly disconnected all the tubes and wires and and shut off the monitors so we didn't have to hear any of the beeps, anymore.

Our sweet Zoe Rose died in our arms that Saturday morning. We held her and rocked her and cried and cried and cried. I kept trying to hold her closer so that the warmth of my body might warm her back up and bring her back to us. Why is she gone? It happened so fast I will never understand it, never. Our sweet, sweet girl who fought so much and won each battle...how could she not have won this fight?

We have been absolutely flooded with words of sympathy and love from those who know us and many who have never met us but have come to know us through this blog or others who do know us. The recurring theme in all of your messages is what a special little girl she is. I truly believe she is an angel and I am blessed to be the mother of this angel. Despite everything she endured, she always and I do mean always, woke up with a smile on her face. She touched everyone who met her, one of those smiles would win you over in a mere second and make you long for those grins and giggles. It is like she knew she was here for a purpose and that purpose was to give small parts of herself to live on in the hearts of all she touched.

In rememberance of Zoe we have set up a memorial foundation - the Zoe Rose Memorial Foundation that will live on in perpetuity to help other kids like her that are born too early and face the many challenges that she faced. To give these kids a chance to live a full and happy life, just like Zoe. If you feel compelled to help us in the quest to honor and celebrate her life you can send contributions, made out to the foundation to 815 E. Spring St., Monroe, GA 30655.

We will be having a memorial service for her on Wednesday the 20th at 2pm at H. M. Patterson and Son Funeral Home on Old Canton Road in Marietta, GA. We welcome any all who wish to celebrate her life with us and we ask that you not wear black. I want the room to be bursting with color just as she was bursting with love and laughter.


My name is Tammie said...

I am so so sorry for your loss. When I read of the news over on Triple Take my heart fell. My heart aches for you and your family. Such a great loss. Sweet Zoe, rest in peace. You have touched many lives.

Laura said...

I am so very sorry for the loss of your sweet Zoe. She sounds like such a beautiful child. Our prayers are with your family.

Monique Gibson said...

I was never fortunate enough to meet Zoe Rose but her life is indeed an inspiration. She faced so many challenges with love and laughter and there are lessons in that for all of us.

I am in awe of your strength and your ability to be so generous and courageous during this time. You too are an inspiration.

May the long time Sun shine upon you,
All love surround you.
And the Pure Light within you,
Guide your way home.
.... Irish farewell prayer

You will remain in my prayers as you celebrate your precious Zoe's life.

Much Love.

Anonymous said...

Your family has been in my constant thought since I read your post on MOST. Your Zoe was such a fighter and is now a very special angel for her sisters.

You will be in my continued prayer as you work your way through this difficult time.

Jill a "friend" from MOST

McTriplet Mommy said...

Thinking about you and praying for your family. Wish I lived closer so I could come give you a big hug at the memorial service.


Mommy to 4 Miracles said...

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your sweet Zoe. I have come to your site off and on thru McTriplet Mommy- and knew of your story...and of all the challenges that Zoe had triumphed over. She was such a fighter, and a beautiful little girl.

I am so sorry for your loss. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you.


Becky said...

I'm so very, very sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you! I have a 21 year old son with Down Syndrome and in January we spent 8 days in ICU on a ventilator from pueumonia. It was hard to watch him. I begged God to bring him back to us! I know Zoe received a life time of love from those who loved her! I will keep you in my prayers and God Bless You!

Anonymous said...

Sweet Zoe will be greatly missed. Our family will be wearing the brightest colors I can find and sending you our love from Texas in celebrating Zoe's life tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Sweet Zoe will be greatly missed. Our family will be wearing the brightest colors I can find and sending you our love from Texas in celebrating Zoe's life tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Your little angel was a blessing to all who have ever met her or read about her on your blog. You guys are in our prayers.

Kimberly and the GA Guinn Trips

Cindy Richards said...

We are so sorry to hear about your sweet Zoey. My Lily was next to her for 6 weeks in the NICU at Northside. I've kept up with her through your Blog and when I heard the news I felt a BIG loss. Even though we never really met I felt a love for your child. I loved seeing her every day she was such a beautiful little girl. And I loved hearing you sing to her, she knew even from the beginning how loved she was and how special you made her feel. I've struggled with the memories of the months we spent in the hospital, but you and Zoey have been a HUGE inspiration to me. Please take care of yourself and savor all the wonderful memories you have of your precious child!
Cindy Richards
Mother of Lily Richards(my 1lb 2 ounce miracle baby)

Tripletblessed said...

There are no words to express how sad I am for you and your family. I began reading your blog just before Zoe came home from the hospital and hae been amazed by the strength of you and your little girl.
Zoe was an amazing little girl who fought so hard for so long.
My prayers are with you and your family during this very tough time.

Suzanne said...

Dear Keira,

Your composure, strength, knowledge, compassion and pure love is awe inspiring! Zoe was clearly influenced and soothed by her incredible mother. Now she is your guardian angel.

You are in my thoughts every second and I am here for you! I will be there tomorrow to celebrate the life of Zoe!

Love you, Suzanne

Tiffany Cobb said...


Words cannot express the sadness that I feel in learning about the loss of your Precious little Zoe. Whether I'm asking Sondae about you and the girls, or keeping up with your blog, you have always been in my thoughts and prayers. Zoe's smile was so angelic, and I'm sure that she's still smiling from above. God Bless you and your family. May He continue to bless and strengthen your hearts at this difficult time.

With Love,

Tiffany Cobb-Classic Design Services

Helen said...

Keira, I cried when I read your post on MOST and I cried when I read this post. I can not even fathom how hard this must be for you and your family. My prayers are with you.


Jennifer Mullinax said...

Keira and Family~ I will be praying that God gives you strength to move forward during this horrible tragedy. Thank you for sharing Sweet Zoe's story with us....her sweet smile touched so many across the miles.
~Jen Mullinax

Anonymous said...

Zoe taught us how to live and love life even though there may be obstacles in the way. She was a beautiful little girl who lit up my room with her sweet smile and left lasting memories when she went home. I will NEVER forget her or her wonderful family...I have been blessed to know them.
With much love, Ms. Linda

Cherie said...

My heart hurts for your loss.

Your sweet Zoe was an inspiration to me and I will never forget her.

May God bring you peace.

thirtylittletoes said...

To the family of Zoe Rose, my thoughts are with you through this time in your life. I have never met Zoe or your family, only through the blog, she sounds like a true angel. We never know what God has in store for us...but some how, some way there is a reason. Your foundation will be a great help to other families who have a difficult road to travel at such a young age. I will be thinking of you next week, when you celebrate her life.

Mom of 2 year old triplets

Jan/lost-strayed-or-stolen.blogspot.com said...

Prayers for you and your family during this time.

Jennifer said...

Praying and thinking of all of you now and for the days to come.

Trista said...

Words fail me right now. I just wanted to let you and your family know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.

Anonymous said...

Keira and Family,

Emily and I would like to express our deepest sympathies for your lose. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family and may Zoe shine down to bless you moving forward.

- Jonathan and Emily Harrell

Anonymous said...

Keira, Richard, Avery & Lily,

My heart goes out to all of you - I can't even begin to imagine what it must feel like to not have your Warrior Princess with you. Have faith that wherever you go, she will be there with you in spirit. As a triplet Dad who groans when the kids won't sleep though the night or when my wife reminds me to wash my hands before touching the kids, I can't tell you what an impact little Zoe's story has had on me. Crying here at my desk, I can't wait to get home and hug my little ones. My wife and I will be praying for all of you and will always keep your heartbreak in mind when we think we have it bad.
God bless all of you and your little angel Zoe.

Kim H. Terry said...

Keira and Richard,
I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and all of your family.
With Love,
Kim Haire Terry

Anonymous said...

We are so sorry to hear about Zoe passing away. Our son JT was at Northside in the room next to Zoe for two months. Everyone on the seventh floor called JT and Zoe "boyfriend and girlfriend". We looked forward to seeing Zoe daily and checking out her cute pink outfit! She was always smiling and playing her her toys or going for a ride in her wagon. We will tell JT about his warrior princess "girlfriend" someday and remind him how special she was.
Love, Jamey, Jill and JT Skurtovich

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss of precious Zoe. I was one of the nurse externs at Northside this past summer. I loved visiting with and holding Zoe. She will always hold a special place in my heart. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Best Regards,
Christen Helfrich

Aileigh said...

I am so sorry about the loss of your sweet Zoe. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Hugs and Love,

Life With My 3 Boybarians said...

It is with such a heaviness in my heart that I read your blog. I am so sorry about the loss of your precious daughter, Zoe. My heart feels heavy... as the mom of a 28 wk PH boy who spent 38+ months on oxygen, it is a mother's greatest sadness.

I pray that tomorrow will be a day of celebration of Zoe's life. For although you have lost so much, I believe her amazing life should be celebrated as the little warrior she was.

May God bless your family and hold you in these upcoming days and months...
With great sincerity,

PhotoChick said...

My heart goes out completely to you and your sweet family. My God give you peace through the tragic loss of your sweet Princess Zoe. You will be in my thoughts and prayers through this - what has to be one of the most difficult times in your life.

Know that one day you will see her again in Heaven as a sweet Angel. Love and prayers from afar,

Amanda Fultz

nancy said...

Dear Keira, Richard, Avery & Lily,

I am so deeply sorry for the loss of your sweet Zoe Rose. Her life and your stories of her have touched so many people. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.



Cassidy said...

I am very sorry to hear about your loss. I am a friend of Laura's and from just reading your blog, I feel your pain. Even though i was never lucky enough to ger to meet her, she seemed to be a beautiful child from God. Now to be you and your family's angel from heaven. I can tell you are an amazing mother, you pt your heart into those girls and you seem to be as caring as could be. My eyes started to tear up when i heard the news. From just talking to Laura about it and reading and keeping up with your blog. You and your family is in my thoughts and prayers. Again, I am very, very sorry for your loss.


heather said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family, and Zoe's sweet sisters. I am so sorry for your incredible loss.

Jessica said...

I have not even begun to be able to find the right words to tell you just how sorry I am. In some ways I feel that you have been so blessed to have met a real life angel, I know that I feel that way about my sister. But then at the same time I feel so angry about it all... I feel angry that I never asked to meet an angel, WHY did someone assume that I wanted my sister taken from me... These decisions that are made for us are so hard... But I hope that you're doing OK. As well as you possibly can be, and most importantly I hope that you'll rely on all of us if there's anything that you need in the upcoming days, weeks, and months... We're all here for you.

LisaWA said...

I just read your post... What a precious angle indeed... you are very blessed... I am so sorry for your loss...


Karen said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. I know that no words can possibly help soothe your aching soul, but please know that you're in my thoughts and prayers.

-a fellow triplet mama

Tab said...

My prayers and thoughts are with your family. I have been reading your blogs for a couple of months and drew strength from you and Zoe. I also heard about this on another blog and immediately knew this was sweet Zoe. I have cried and my heart hurts for you today as I read this entry. www.minishfamily.blogspot.com

ellipsemag said...

Sending you the clear white light of peace to comfort you in your time of loss. Blessings to the Zoe's dear sisters.

Anonymous said...


We are so sorry for the loss of your precious daughter. We will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

The Hester Family
Dawsonville, GA

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to let you know how beautiful the service was today. You are such a strong mommy. Zoe is indeed looking down on you guys, smiling, and loving you so much. I was blessed to be apart of it.

Kimberly and the GA Guinn Trips

Kelly said...


You are such an amazing and loving Mama. I know Zoe was surrounded by love every moment of her too-short life.

Avery and Lily now have the most beautiful, smiling, guardian angel watching over them.

You were in my constant thoughts and prayers.

The Phamily Matriarch said...


I have read your blogs by way of McTriplets. I am so sorry and my heart aches for your pain. I pray that God will comfort you and your family during this most difficult time.

As a mom of a preemie, I vow to continue to fight to bring awareness to prematurity...to help others understand the seriousness of this crisis. I will march this April in memory and honor of Zoe.

I know that God has Zoe wrapped in His arms.


jenn said...

Please know that your Zoe and family are in our prayers.

MaryBeth said...

Sending all our love and prayers in the days and weeks ahead. May God give you His peace and the strength you need to carry on.

Kate said...

I have been thinking of your family since you posted on MOST as I know all too well the path you are travelling. Please know that you are not alone. Zoe sounds like she was a beautiful, happy girl. She will be missed dearly.

Kate, a friend from MOST

stefanie said...

Dear Sorrell Family,
I've begun this post a hundred times, I wish I had the magic words that could take all your pain away. But I Know that there is nothing in the world that can do that. Just know that I continue to think of you. As Jessica said, Please, please rely on us for anything you need.. I know that Zoe Rose touched so many people in her short life.

Thoughts & Prayers

Nan said...

I'm a perfect stranger who just stumbled upon your blog but I wanted to tell you how very sorry I am for the loss of your precious daughter. My heart aches for you...

The Dairy Wife said...

I often read your blog and have never commented. I wish now that I had.

I'm so sorry that you lost Zoe. She is a beautiful little girl. Just know that she will be always be a part of your life and you are all blessed to have had her. I know you already know that.

Take care,

Tanya Siekman
Mom to Sam, Jay and Meg - age three

Anonymous said...

I found out about your sweet Zoe through Darcy's blog (LWM3B)and I can hardly believe this. As I read Zoe's story of her last hours, I began to sob. My heart goes out to you and your family. There are no words that I can express to comfort you, but please know that I will be praying for your family and I know that the next star that I see in the sky at night is your dear Angel Zoe shining her bright light on the world. May God bless and keep all of you at this difficult time.

Denise Wheeler said...

I just wanted to say again, I am praying for you and your whole family. I can't begin to imagine the hole that has been left in your family. Avery and Lily are two lucky little girls, they have a beautiful angel to watch over them now.

Anonymous said...

I read about Zoe on Kara's website. I am her cousin and a NICU nurse and must say I was instantly drawn to Zoe by the beautiful picture on your site. She is just beautiful. You should be so proud of having the strength and love to allow your angel to meet her maker where she is certain to find eternal peace. I am sure her spirit will live through her adorable sisters who certainly will be stronger because of her. Thank you for your inspiration as a mother. May God bless and heal you and your family through your time of sorrow!

Weerock said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. I came to your blog via Kara McTriplet Mommy.

As the mom of 3 preemies myself...I know the battles Zoe fought and won. My heart is so heavy for you and your family.

Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers.


hedra said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Your story sounds so much like my mother's loss of my eldest brother. He was older than Zoe, but like her he'd been through many battles and won them all, until an illness that seemed to be recoverable suddenly changed, and he died in her arms on the way to the hospital.

My mother has always told me that (like your Zoe), he always woke with a smile on his face, was always full of love for everyone. She says, like you, that he had a purpose, and fulfilled it, and then was gone. My brother Grant taught my mother how important each day is, how to BE a mother (he was her first), and how powerful love can be. He has never been forgotten in our lives, and neither will I forget your Zoe, even though we never met.

May your faith support you through the challenges ahead, and like my own mother, may you one day be able to smile when you speak of your angel more than you weep.

mamaofquiteafew said...

I am so sorry for your loss, and will keep your family in my prayers. Peace to you and little angel baby.

mrsgingergrl said...

I am so so sorry, my heart just breaks for you. We lost one of our triplets recently at 3 months - so much of what you've written, I feel like I could have written about our Jack. Your little girl was a gift, and an angel, who will never ever be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry.

Michelle said...

I'm a complete stranger - but I just wanted to say I'm so sorry. My heart just aches for your family - I hope Zoe's smile and laughter remains in your heart forever.

The Morreys said...

I am so, so sorry on the loss of your beautiful daughter Zoe. She is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I so, so very sorry for your loss.

Lauren and rebecca said...

This is my first time on your blog,
and I didnt think that the first post I would look at was going to give me the infomation about the death of one of your triplets, I am so very sorry for your loss she was such a beautiful little girl, and her sweet smile touched me from the moment I looked at her

Kristi said...

I just found your blog today through Stefanie's blog. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes as I read the last entry on your blog. :( I am the mother of 26-weeker bbg triplets who are now 10-months-old. I cannot imagine what you must be going through right now. And I know I have no words that can comfort you right now, other than to tell you that I am praying for you and your family. ((hugs))


Elvira said...

I remember bursting into tears 14 months ago as I sat at the computer nursing my giant 8lb newborn when I read the e-mail from Suzanne that your girls had been born at 25 weeks. I followed your caringbridge site and thought of your family often. Suzanne just sent the news about your loss of sweet Zoe, and I wanted to let you know how sorry I am for your loss. Your strength is amazing and inspirational. Your girls are beautiful. And that Zoe smile....its infectious. I read your whole blog last night and was in tears thinking about what all your family has gone through, but then I'd see a photo of sweet Zoe with that smile, and I could not help but smile too. Much love to you and your family. Elvira

Aimee said...

This is the first time I'm at your blog, and I have to say that my heart is aching for you and your family.

I'll be praying for you and your family.

LaDana Latham Carter said...

I must tell you what an inspiration you are. You made Zoe's funeral a beautiful celebration. I cannot stop thinking about you and your family.
When Richard's friend ask us to find joy at the funeral, I pictured all my loved ones (that have already passed) greeting Zoe, without any tubes or attachments. She felt safe,happy, and at peace. I just wanted to share that with you.My family is here for you!

ABC Triplets said...

I am so sorry for your loss. We are keeping your family in our thoughts.

Casey's trio said...

My thoughts go out to your family. I am so sorry. Thank you for sharing Zoe's life and beautiful smile with us.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry.

Anonymous said...

I am so terribly sorry for your loss. Your family is in my thoughts.

Carissa said...

I too have come to *know* Zoe and your girls through McTriplett Mommy...and I was stunned and heartbroken when I heard this news today. I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet sweet girl. She was an amazing fighter. I hope that she had a wonderfully colorful memorial service as you celebrated her life.
Many hugs

Anonymous said...

Kiera, Richard, Lily and Avery,
I ams o incredibly soory to hear of your loss of sweet Zoe. She was an incredible fighter...even from the very first days when I took care of her. I always enjoyed going by her room in the afternoon when I was on the 7th floor to see her smiling little face. Take comfort in knowing she will always be above watching out for Lily and Avery and she will live on in the hearts of all in the SCN at Northside
With my deepest sympathy and love
Janna Giles

Allison Henschel said...

Dear Keira and Precious Family,
Oh the tears that pave the way... there is a stairway...and angels amongst us! What a beautiful life... may Zoe Rose live on in your hearts until you see her again...she has certainly touched mine! Allison reallife77@att.net

All time favorite video of Zoe!

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Bible verses that comfort me

"Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord."
~ 2 Corinthians 5:8

"Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children....Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them"
~ Mark10:14 & 10:16

"...those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint"~ Isaiah40:31