Raji, a 2-month-old, is one of hundreds of Indiana babies who died before the age of 1

Earlier this month, a private ceremony was held to honor the brief life of Baby Raji, who passed away at just 2 months old.

Following his birth at an Indianapolis hospital, Raji was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. Although he eventually went home, tragedy struck when he was rushed to the emergency room and unfortunately did not survive.

For a period of two months following his passing, Raji remained unclaimed at the coroner’s office.

Linda Znachko is the creator and driving force behind the compassionate He Knows Your Name ministry. The organization was established with the noble goal of offering comfort, assistance, and valuable resources to families who are grappling with the tragic loss of a baby during pregnancy or in infancy.

Upon learning that the mother was willing to sign the release papers, Znachko took it upon herself to ensure that Raji received a dignified burial. But her efforts didn’t stop there. Znachko also used this heartbreaking experience to bring attention to the fact that there are resources and support available for families who have suffered the loss of a baby. Her hope is that other families can find comfort in knowing they are not alone during such a difficult time.

Znachko expressed her strong belief that every baby should be celebrated and given the honor they deserve. To make sure this happens, they organized a ceremony where they read scripture, specifically Psalm 139. This particular passage is very significant because it emphasizes how all of us are uniquely and wonderfully made in the image of God.

The month of October is dedicated to raising awareness about the loss of pregnancy and infants. It is a time to remember and honor the little ones who were taken away too soon. Unfortunately, Indiana has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the United States, according to the CDC. This is a serious issue that needs attention and action to help prevent more families from experiencing the devastating loss of a child.

The Indiana Department of Health has reported that 536 infants in Indiana did not make it to their first birthday in the year 2021. Shockingly, over the past five years, more than 2,700 infants have passed away due to various causes.

Znachko emphasized the significance of acknowledging the fact that one in four women experiences loss. It is crucial for these women to feel supported and not feel alone during this challenging time. It is essential for the people around them to comprehend the emotions they are going through. If the issue is not discussed, these women may feel isolated, which could be detrimental to their well-being.

He Knows Your Name is teaming up with hospitals to offer Cuddle Cots, blankets, and burial gowns to families who have lost a baby. These Cuddle Cots are equipped with a cooling system that allows the family to spend more time with their baby, providing them with the opportunity to start the grieving process in a peaceful and comfortable environment. Founder of He Knows Your Name, Abby Znachko, emphasizes that without these cots, families often miss out on the chance to say proper goodbyes and share precious moments with their lost little ones. She believes that support should be readily available in hospitals and continue to be offered to families as they leave.

According to Znachko, many people have a misconception that her work only involves assisting families who have lost their babies. However, she clarified that she also provides support to families who are dealing with the aftermath of a loss.

Volunteers are responsible for crafting and delivering the blankets to He Knows Your Name. According to Znachko, one of the blankets that was buried with Raji was sourced from a different corner of the globe.

According to Znachko, the act of placing the blanket in the grave signifies that the baby is being cradled even in the soil, embraced by the community.

Families who are going through the grieving process during prenatal and postnatal care can take solace in the fact that there are numerous resources available to assist them. Znachko and other experts in this field emphasize the importance of accessing these resources to help cope with the loss.

Raji’s funeral, organized by ‘He Knows Your Name’, took place at the Mt. Vernon Chapel located in the Washington Park East Cemetery of Indianapolis on 11th October. A graveside burial ceremony followed the funeral service.

Accompanying Znachko during the funeral service was Susan Clark, a compassionate nurse navigator specializing in perinatal and bereavement care at Ascension St. Vincent Health.

Ascension St. Vincent is all set to host the crucial Perinatal and Infant Loss Training next month. This training is a must for professionals who work with women and families dealing with loss directly. Head over to their website for more details on the event.

Read More: Breaking News: Body of Indiana teacher who went missing in Puerto Rico found, presumed dead

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MBS Staff
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