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This baby only lived for an hour but changed countless lives

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Every life is precious.

Regina and Erik had 8 children, and they were expecting a ninth. Their home was full of excitement, but not everything was going as it should. A checkup four months into the pregnancy left little doubt: The baby girl was suffering from spina bifida and trisomy 18.

For Regina and Erik, the only option was life, no matter how it presented itself. They looked for a place where the baby could be received in the best way possible, and they settled on the Neonatal Comfort Care Program in New York.

“From that moment on, everything changed,” Regina said. “We were at peace, even though we were aware of all of the problems, because we knew that she was going to be welcomed, cared for, and loved.”

Caeli was born on June 18, 2014, and even though she lived outside the womb for less than an hour, the love of her parents and siblings surrounded her for every moment of her life.

“We sang, and each one of us had the chance to hold her in our arms,” Erik said. “In a way, it was a joyful moment.”

In fewer than 60 minutes, Caeli left a permanent mark on the life of her family and of the people who attended her funeral.

“God makes no distinction between a long life and a short one,” Regina said. “Caeli’s life was very short, but it was a complete life!”

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