In Loving Memory of

Rosalie Parisa Damavandy

November 8, 2022 - May 21, 2024

Rosalie's Story

Rosalie Parisa Damavandy, or “baby Rosie” as she was known in our house, was an incredibly joyful, playful, and loving child who adored her parents, two older siblings, and everyone she encountered.  In French, Rosalie means beautiful little rose, and in Farsi, Parisa means like a fairy or angel. Her name captured her essence that we will always carry in our hearts, the essence of a perfect little angelic rose.

Rosie’s pregnancy was marked by eager anticipation and was altogether healthy. We were warned that going from 2 to 3 kids would represent a big jump in difficulty as parents, but feeling like our lives were already a joyful mess, we were eager to take on this challenge. What arrived in our lives was nothing short of astonishing. We were given a beautiful, healthy baby girl with big blue eyes, wispy light brown hair, and a scrunchy smile—a true miracle.

Watching baby Rosie grow was one of the most gratifying experiences of our lives. She was at once an old soul and a wild, playful child. Her calm, pensive demeanor, knowing eyes, and contemplative gaze were juxtaposed with her unabashed love of being outside, music, any celebration involving clapping, books at night, brushing her teeth, nursing, and unloading the dirty dishes from the dishwasher.

Baby Rosie loved her siblings and her next-door cousin Vivi. No matter what they were up to, she wanted to keep up and be in the mix. Despite her young age, she settled into her family’s routine perfectly. Some of her first words were “Paw Patrol” which she would sing to her siblings as they would watch the show or play with the figurines. She was such a wonderful and easygoing child. She made us feel like we were excellent parents and that we could have many more children, yet she was so angelic that we never felt the need for another child. She fulfilled our greatest desires and life just felt perfect. How could we ask God for anything more?

Rosie had such a beautiful and unique relationship with her mama. She would follow me everywhere I went, even into the bathroom and shower. As a busy pediatrician mom trying to keep our house afloat and my notes from work completed, sometimes I just wanted a break. However, I feel grateful that I never got one because Rosie was persistent and always knew where to find me in our house. An element of our relationship that I never fully understood until now was her perseverance in breastfeeding. I believe she was purposefully asking me to slow down in my life to make sure that, as our third child, she got the time and attention that she needed while allowing me to savor these tender moments with her in her short life. We nursed every morning before work and at night before bed, including her very last night. It is almost as if she wanted me to have that last contact with her to tell me, “Mama, you did everything you could have ever possibly done for me.” I take comfort in knowing that, in her last moments, we were as connected as two humans could be before I laid her down for her last sleep.

Rosie’s last earthly day, May 20th, 2024, was easy and carefree. She had a mild runny nose but no fevers and was eating and drinking in her usual fashion. It would have been just a typical Monday. It began with her babbling and making sweet angelic sounds as she rolled around in her crib at her usual wake-up time of 6:30 am. That morning, Mom took photos of her because she looked so cute with her natural bob hairstyle, beaming smile, and cherry-pattern pajamas. This photo was taken approximately 16 hours before she passed. She had her usual Damavandy household special for breakfast, scrambled eggs and fruit, and set about her day, including a lunch date with her cousin Vivi and brother George.

She had a memorable last night with her dad, an intimate dinner for two as her older siblings watched a movie. Dressed angelically in white and with sheer joy in her heart, she cycled through many of her cutest and classic mannerisms and vocalizations for me. What ensued was our last wonderful family wrestle, monster chase, and family snuggle. My final evening with baby Rosie was a gift. When mom came home that night, Rosie ran into her arms and nursed one last time before she was laid to her final rest.

The following day our lives changed. She wasn’t making her usual morning sounds and our house seemed quiet.  The moment I entered her room, the silence and stillness were deafening, and I knew at that moment, before I even picked her up, that she had passed.

Following a normal autopsy, we learned that baby Rosie is one of the 450 children every year in the US who pass suddenly and without medical explanation. This condition is called Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC), and we currently lack the tools to predict or prevent these tragic deaths. Organizations like the SUDC foundation are essential to support families like ours to help investigate the underlying mechanism of this condition and to work to ultimately explain the unexplained. Our goal is to channel our love for our baby Rosie to help build awareness and fund research so that we can work towards a future free of SUDC. A tomorrow, we have learned, is not promised to anyone, and our baby Rosie reminds us to hug our loved ones tight every day and be kind to each other.

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Photo Gallery

A picture is worth a thousand words. For us, it is priceless for pictures and memories are all we have left.

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