Breanna Star Swanson

2015-2017back

Breanna Star Swanson was born December 16th, 2015 at Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City. This child was a miracle, a fighter, stunningly beautiful, perfect and loved beyond belief. Breanna came into our lives very early. She was born to her parents, Kelly Lynne Johnson and Brandon Scott Swanson of Oklahoma City, at 25 weeks gestation, though she had quit growing in the womb at 23 weeks. She weighed slightly more than 1 pound WITH her umbilical cord. A few days following her birth, she was flown to OU Children’s Hospital where she lived for the next six and a half months. Her parents spent every day with her. There were many ups and downs, but all the prayer paid off and Breanna went home in June of 2016. Breanna had many hospital visits post discharge, but was gaining weight and getting bigger. The constant battle her parents faced in her continued recovery was her lungs. The following months would be spent in quarantine with hopes of Breanna not getting any kind of respiratory illness or allergic reactions to trigger an asthmatic episode. Sadly, in the early hours of the morning following Easter, Breanna started having difficulty breathing, was coughing, and was having a very hard time recovering. She was rushed by ambulance back to Children’s Hospital where she tested positive for RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) and remained in the pediatric intensive care unit until her passing on May 8th, 2017. Breanna left our world in peace, comfortable, nestled in her mother’s neck (her favorite spot), and cradled by her daddy’s hands. Most importantly, Breanna passed without pain or suffering, and without any wires and tubes. Breanna loved music, colorful videos and soothing lights. She loved mama’s kisses on the cheeks, nestling in her mother’s neck and sitting on her dad’s leg and laying on his chest. She had a fierce, fighting spirit from day one. The lasting adjectives used to describe her have been “feisty” and “beautiful.” Breanna’s short time on earth has left a lasting impact on her family, the staff at the hospital, the therapeutic staff she had at home, and the hundreds of “friends” that followed her and her family’s journey. She is a constant reminder that children are so resilient and can put up a fight stronger than any adult. Breanna had beautiful blue, starburst stricken eyes and soft, whimsical hair the color of honey. She had delicate, chubby, pale skin that felt like satin and eye lashes for days. She had the most expressive face and communicated through her own unique sets of sounds. She is insanely loved by so many people and will never, ever be forgotten. Her family would like to take this time to extend a special thanks and appreciation to the following people and organizations: The entire staff at OU Children’s Hospital, specifically the NICU nurses and ELBW (Extremely Low Birth Weight) team, the PICU team, the geneticists, pulmonologists, endocrinologists, radiology, social services staff and countless doctors and residents that helped us get as much time as we did with her. Her legacy is a testament to the quality of care we received while in that hospital. The family would like to thank Dr. Scott Melson of Just Kids Pediatrics, for always going above and beyond as her PCP and for leaving his job the day of her passing to show support to her and her family, Dr. Janine Collinge for preserving her vision, Dr. Ashkan Abbey from Texas Retina for his amazing infant eye surgery that saved her retinas, Nikki and the wound care team at OU Children’s Hospital, Heather Jarvis, Stephanie Mallam and Holly Cole-Weber for always being so empathetic and patient while working with Breanna therapeutically at home and at the Children’s Center in Bethany, and Amanda McCurdy for providing social services care to our family and being such an outlet for resources as well as personal support. Our nursing staff: Natalie Enloe, Stephanie Plants, Kari Peterson Harkey, Kelly Simmons, Pamela Lanon Kuhlman, John Karlin, Kelsi Perkins, Meagan Luellen, Teri Canon Townsend, Marina Masters, Glen Waymel, Macie Caines, Suzanne Skipper, Emily Blackwell Fischer, April Keith, Jenna Kindle, Erin Parker, Barbara Buster, Jamie Kilpactrick, Dr. Atchley, Dr. Ivanov, Delena Brown, Emily Cope, Shana Peruti, Whitney Blundell, Taylor Sherrod-Corbin, Kelsey James, Lindsay Johnson, and Stacy Gray for the countless nights of support in those hospital rooms, for your courage to show vulnerability in your profession, sharing tears and listening, the kindness and hugs, and for taking care of our family and as well as Breanna. Also to the handful of you that made home visits to us for medicinal and baby-sitting support, thank you. A special thank you to the team at Mercy Hospital for taking care of Kelly and Breanna during her first two weeks of life. You are all exceptional RNs. The family would also like to extend immense gratitude to the Liddell Foundation and everyone who donated to Breanna’s GoFundMe. Without your generosity, the past almost 17 months would have been impossible. The family would like to take this time to raise awareness of Williams Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that comes with just as many blessings as it does challenges.

Breanna was preceded in death by her grandfather Danny Johnson. Breanna’s memory will live on through her parents, Kelly Johnson and Brandon Swanson, her aunts and uncles, many cousins, grandmothers Lydia Johnson and Deborah Swanson, and her four beautiful half-sisters Makayla Skye Swanson 18, Caitlyn Raine Swanson 14, Jocelyn Chenoa Swanson 11 and Addison River Swanson 7 of Oklahoma City. Her memory will also live on in all of you who prayed for us and supported us along the way. The 509 days of her life were of purpose, of beauty and of lasting impact.

Brandon and Kelly must extend their gratitude to two special nurses: Kayce Sanders, without your patient and kind, maternal and welcoming spirit, the first night walking down the hallway of the NICU would have broken us. You were always so gentle with Breanna and without your home visits, Kelly would have drowned. You are a gifted nurse and an even more remarkable person. Thank you for your friendship and thank you for the heart you put into your job every day.

Chelsea Watson fought to have Breanna as her assignment the day she passed, even switching with another nurse who originally had her. She was outstanding, gentle, professional, accommodating, understanding, patient, thorough, and overall, she was present in the moment of loss every step of the way with the family. They would like for her specifically to know that they would not have made it through the difficult conversations, almost impossible decisions, and overwhelming heartbreak and pain without her there. You are an outstanding nurse and a very strong woman to be able to navigate through those difficult moments in your profession and we will never forget your gentle tone and your gentle hands.

Flowers can be sent to Matthews Funeral Home in Edmond, Oklahoma. The viewing and visitation will be Thursday, May 11th, from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a formal visitation from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Services will be held at Southern Hills Christian Church, in Edmond, Oklahoma, at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, on Friday, May 12th, 2017. Graveside service to follow at Gracelawn Cemetery in Edmond Oklahoma.

Comments

  1. My heart and thoughts are with you Kelly and Brandon. I am with you in spirit. Love and peace to you all. I am blessed to have witnessed a bit of this little sprite’s life.

  2. I will be there in spirit. I wish everyone whose life was touched by this beautiful child’s love my sincerest condolences.

  3. You are so strong Kelly, I admire you in so many ways. Breas days on this earth were cut way too short but she chose the right mama , to help fight her journey,,,precious time on earth you shared with us was memorable full of spunk ,,,hurtles Mountains to climb and with each one you soared, a life time of memories never forgotten,,, she was a fighter strong like her mama we all learned from your trials and were enriched by her days with you in our own lives,,, we all share in your pain wish there were words to say to help heal y’all s hearts. She is an angel now never leaving you. Rejoice knowing we will all reunite one day. You all are in my thoughts and prayers love from Arizona

  4. I am so undeserving of such kind words. Thank you for allowing your daughter to influence my life. I am honored to have had the privilege of taking care of such an amazing little girl. Praying for your family.
    Chelsea

  5. Kelly,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I am forever grateful that Kayce put us in touch with one another so that I could become your friend and follow Breanna’s journey. She was a fighter!

    Beth Carter

  6. Kelly I never got to meet my little fourth cousin, and only you once that I remember. Brea touched so many lives and hearts in her short stay on this earth. But she’s safe in her Grandpa’s arms now and in the loving caring arms of Jesus. Don’t you know she is a beautiful angel!! Prayers for strength and peace for your journey. Love to all.

    Jackie

  7. Kelly, my heart breaks for you. I am so glad to have been part of Breanna’s journey and only wish it had continued. You are in my thoughts and please let me know if you need anything.

  8. Kelly and family,
    You all are in my thoughts and prayers during this very tragic and difficult time. Although I never got a chance to meet Brea in person I have followed your journey from day one. Brea was such a gift to this world. I would love to be there to give you a great big hug but I will be there in spirit. You all are in our daily prayers. May God comfort you during this time. ❤

  9. Kelly and family,
    Brea had the best support system and was loved so very much right from the start and every day after. Kelly, it is a honor getting to know you and to be a small part of this journey. Right from the beginning you were such a devoted mother. You knew Brea better than anyone, you spoke her language and knew what she was needing. What a gift to have that kind of bond with your daughter. You have incredible strength that has grown so much theses last 2 years. May you feel all the love and support surrounding you.

  10. “The agony is great and yet I will stand it. Had I not loved so much I would not hurt so much. But God knows I would not want to diminish that precious love by one fraction of an ounce. I will hurt. And I will be grateful for that hurt for it bears witness to the depth of our meaning. And for that I will be eternally grateful.”
    ~ Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

    My sincere condolences for you and your family, Kelly. Brea was GREATLY loved, and it was felt by so many. You are a wonderful, devoted mother; I could only hope to be a fraction of the mother you are. You’ve inspired us all on your journey. You have walked through great trials, and kept your head held high and always had positivity pouring out of you. Brea couldn’t have been more blessed to have you as her mother. Stay strong, sweet Kelly….you, as well, are greatly loved!

    Only a moment you stayed, but what an imprint your footprints have left on our hearts~ Dorothy Ferguson

  11. No parent should ever outlive a child, period. Kelly, you are the strongest woman I know and I’m so glad you had the time you did with your precious little baby. May those be the happiest 509 days of your life.

  12. Kelly and Brandon,

    I am so beyond sorry for your loss. Breanna was such a beautiful little girl and I feel blessed to have gotten to meet her and spend a small amount of time talking with you and coordinating things with you for her eye care. I hope in the days to come you take comfort in the impact she made in her short life on so many of us.

    -“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

    I hope you have immense peace and comfort during this time of grief. Your love for Breanna was very visible and inspirational to us all. Take comfort in the fact that she knew she was well loved and cared for because those of us witnessing it could tell.
    Prayers to your family,
    Keesha Stevens

  13. Kelly & Breanna, thank you for welcoming me into your home to share your joys and struggles, you and your sweet family are always in my thoughts and prayers. I loved the times when I was able to hold Breanna in my arms, snuggle her and smell her sweet baby smells or just talk to you Kelly about what was going on in your life, again thank you, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for your sweet girl, forever friends, Holly

  14. I’m so grateful and thankful to have been able to spend time with my beautiful number 9 granddaughter, Breanna Star Swanson. As I held her close looking into those mesmerizing blue eyes, she was looking at me with curiosity and a look that confirmed the knowledge that she absolutely knew I was someone important in her life. Breanna did not cry or squirm as I held her. She was strong for her tiny size ,and also showed a quiet inner strength. Unfortunately I was not able to attend her funeral due to illness. I feel comforted knowing she is with our Lord in heaven and I will be reunited with her again. I am so proud of her parents. My son Brandon, and her lovely mother Kelly. Breannas parents were dedicated and resourceful in there care of their gorgeous little angel. Even though her young life was cut short, I know she will forever have a special place in my heart and in the hearts of her extended family and the vast amount of skilled nurses and doctors who put all their knowledge into giving our Breanna Star the very best that life could be for her. Although we are saddened at the thought of not seeing her shining face here on earth, we can all rest assured that she is safe and sound in heaven, where she is meeting for the first time many members of her family that have proceeded her in death. I also want to thank my friends in Oklahoma who have diligently prayed for our Breanna. She will be greatly missed by her parents, Grandparents, sisters and other caring family members. I love you Breanna Star,I will never forget you and I will always cherish the precious time I had with you.

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