Kyla Jo Enderle lived just 59 minutes after her birth on June 25, 2003. Yet her tragically brief life continues to impact the lives of families in a wonderful way.
Kyla’s parents, Barb Shelton and Kyle Enderle, knew that their third child, and first daughter, could not survive because of a rare medical condition discovered during a routine ultrasound done at five and-a-half months.
As Kyla’s first birthday approached, her parents wanted to honor her memory in a special way. With incredible generosity, they have donated elaborate gift baskets for the past 16 years. The gifts are presented to the first girl born on Kyla’s birthday.
Barb loves finding all things little girl – clothes, tiny shoes, hair ribbons, toys, a blanket crocheted by a friend, baby bath products, even diapers. This year, Kyla’s 16th, one lucky baby is getting what every girl needs – a car (Little Tykes sport coupe), along with scores of other gifts, most of them pink. “This is a milestone birthday, so we wanted to do something special,” Barb says. “Doing this eases the pain and keeps her memory alive,” adds Kyle. He says that the kindness shown to the family by the Obstetrics staff and, in particular, Share coordinator Gayle Unverferth, will never be forgotten.
Kyla’s parents occasionally hear from families who receive their gifts, and that makes this tradition of giving even more special.
Neonatologist Paul Caruso, MD, attended Kyla’s birth in his role at that time as a pediatric hospitalist. “Whether a baby is in your life for a few moments, or many decades, the impact that baby’s life has on others is incredible. Kyla’s parents chose to turn one of life’s saddest moments into something that positively impacts the lives of others.”
Kyla’s parents and her brothers, ages 24, 20 and 14, along with other family members have another tradition. “We celebrate her birthday with a balloon release and angel food cake. This year, a milestone year, will include the entire family.” Some 25 balloons will be released. As the balloons float into the clouds, “we stand there until we can’t see them anymore,” Barb says. Hello, Kyla.