Kettering family creates ‘Harper’s Angel Bears’ to help others coping with infant loss

Miami Valley News

KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – In 2018, the Kerlin family from Kettering learned that their second child was facing complications in the womb at just 16 weeks. Harper Ann Kerlin was diagnosed with bladder outlet obstruction. Sarah Kerlin, along with her husband Tyler, decided to carry Harper full term.

In September of 2018, Harper was born and lived for about an hour. Her family was able to spend precious moments with her, even after she became an angel, thanks to the Caring Cradle device. Miami Valley Hospital provides the Caring Cradle which cools the body of the baby, slowing the natural progression of changes that happen after death.

The Kerlin’s have since been inspired to raise money to provide Caring Cradles to other hospitals so more families can share the same experience if they find themselves facing the same loss. The family also created Harper’s Angel Bears to give to local hospitals for family’s facing infant loss.

“I think that was the worst part, was leaving the hospital empty handed, and I don’t want any other families to have to go through that,” shared Sarah.

So far, the Kerlin’s have sent out more than 500 bears to families across the country.

“You may just be sending a bear to someone, but the impact that has on a family is important …helping a family grieve,” said Tyler.

For more information on Harper’s Angel Bears and supporting the Kerlin’s mission, click here.

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