Back in January, we shared the heartbreaking story of baby River, a baby born at 22 weeks gestation who was refused medical care and consequently passed away.
When Andrew Miller brought his wife, Mackenzie, to Ball Memorial Hospital in pre-term labor, doctors and nurses said they would do nothing to try to save River once he was born based on his gestational age alone. Mackenzie was denied transport to a different hospital that would attempt to save her son. Born kicking and gasping for breath, River lived for two hours, struggling to survive, while hospital staff made good on their promise to simply watch him die.
The Miller family walked through the valley of the shadow of death, and sometimes, they still feel like they’re in that valley. But, Mackenzie says, “There is joy in the mourning.” Though he lived mere hours outside of her womb, Mackenzie knows River’s life has impacted more people than many are able to in a long lifetime.
River changed minds on matters of life and death. A pro-abortion person saw River’s perfectly human features at 22 weeks gestation and realized those pro-choice views were wrong. This individual is now pro-life.
River is also touching those who have experienced loss, as Mackenzie uses her tragedy to help others. She said, “Since River was born, I have been able to be there for women who have lost children and have been able to relate heavily and share the story of River.”
And Ball Memorial Hospital has been exposed as one that will not attempt to save babies born before a certain gestational age.
After losing River, Andrew and Mackenzie knew another pregnancy would be high risk, but doctors told them it was possible. So, they decided to try for another baby. When Mackenzie found out she was expecting again, she was excited but fearful. Doctors were able to keep her and their second baby boy safe, and in January of 2018, River’s little brother was born.
When Kai Elliott was born, Mackenzie said, “Happy tears were shed and I felt like Jesus whispered to me, ‘Here is your restoration.’ Kai is a breath of fresh air and really one of the best babies…He will be 7 months old on the 25th and he is already crawling and pulling himself up on everything. Making mommy busy chasing after him.”
River will always be a part of the Miller family. Mackenzie wants to make sure Kai knows about his big brother. She said, “We visit River’s grave as often as we can, and I truly want Kai growing up knowing his older brother. We celebrated his one year by releasing balloons and having a birthday party for him and me with our family. Some moments are hard, but when I hold my ‘promise’ of our son Kai, I remember Jesus is holding River. We anticipate all the children that will follow after him.”
Many of you wrote notes to Andrew and Mackenzie when we first shared their story, and this has meant a lot to the family. Thank you so much for your kind words and prayers.
Thank you also for your support of Hoosiers for Life.
When I hear stories like River’s, it makes me want to fight even harder to protect all babies at the moment of conception. And I’m not going to stop until the law upholds every child’s God given right to live.
Hoosiers for Life
P.S. We previously shared the story of Andrew and Mackenzie Miller, who lost their son, River, after Ball Memorial Hospital refused any medical intervention to save his life. I am happy to announce River now has a little brother, Kai Elliott, who was born in January 2018.
All babies deserve protection at conception, and I won’t stop fighting until they get it. If you haven’t signed your Protection of Life Petition letting Indiana legislators know you support ending abortion in Indiana, please do so right away. After that, send the petition to friends you know will sign too.
Paid for by the supporters of Hoosiers for Life, a tax exempt non-profit organization under IRC 501(c)(4) which does not endorse, support, or oppose candidates for election.