On July 15, 2016, our beautiful son Parks Dempsey Heckmann was born prematurely at 26 weeks due to an unexplained placenta abruption. Parks’ vital organs weren’t fully developed, leaving him very fragile and fighting for his life at Rady’s NICU in San Diego.
After three days, he developed a stage four brain bleed and his organs were failing. It was the worst news we’d ever received. We were hopeful with today’s technology and the power of prayer that somehow we would be able to change the situation. Parks was a fighter, but in the end we lost our sweet boy. There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t think of him and what a strong little boy he was. It’s heartbreaking for our daughter Quinn, who was 15 months old when he was born, to not have her amazing little brother around. Quinn is five years old now and it warms our hearts that she still talks about him and ask questions about him.
Three years later, on August 12, 2019, we were blessed to welcome our second daughter, River Rose, to the world. She was born after 33 weeks, after another challenging pregnancy. We spent her first two weeks of life back in the NICU at Rady's. The amount of fear and stress that we felt as a family was immense. Katy stayed with her during the days and Brock took the night shift because we didn't want her to be out of our sights.
We are so thankful for the wonderful care we received once again and we were elated when we finally got to bring River home! We owe so much to the incredible Team at Rady’s for their exceptional care of Parks, River, and our entire family throughout these challenging situations. Now it is our turn to give back.
We are committed to helping raise funds for Rady’s so that they can continue to help families in similar situations. Our endowment will help with immediate needs at the hospital, support Neonatology Research at Rady’s Hospital in perpetuity, and commemorate our deep gratitude to the Team who cared for our son Parks, our daughter River and our entire family.
Please help us in our commitment to Rady’s Children’s Hospital by taking time to donate to the Parks Heckmann Endowment Fund.
With love and gratitude,
Brock, Katy, Quinn, River, and Parks Heckmann