Counting Kindness – Kennedy’s Angel Gowns

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Pregnancy is such an exciting time. Parents dreaming, hoping and planning for their unborn child. Eight years ago, Demitri and Heather Wilson were expecting their first baby – a baby girl. Heather was 35 weeks along and just a few days from being induced when she began to feel uneasy. Heather stopped feeling movement and was instructed to go to the hospital. After an hour’s wait, she and her husband were told there was no heartbeat and Heather would have to deliver her baby.

25 hours of labor later, five-pound Kennedy Milan was stillborn.  Heather, Demitri, their family and friends were able to spend two days in the hospital holding little Kennedy. Then, they had to plan a funeral. They ran into an unexpected issue. No matter how hard Heather and her family looked, they could not find anything appropriate for Kennedy to be buried in. Everything was too big for her – even doll clothes.

That stuck with Heather and last year, she was inspired to start Kennedy’s Angel Gowns. She and several volunteers make burial gowns for babies out of donated wedding gowns. The outfits are delivered to families within driving distance and shipped across the country to those suffering the same heartbreak. It is all free of charge.

Kennedy’s Angel Gowns also provides support to grieving families and assists with funeral costs when possible. Two big fundraisers are held each year to help offset some of the cost. One is this weekend. Kennedy’s Angel Gowns Angel Walk/Run is being held Sunday, October 15 at Virginia Wesleyan in Norfolk. For additional information, visit www.kennedysangelgowns.org or check out their Facebook page.