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Remembering baby Claire

Posted on Apr. 25, 2018 ( comments)
A photo of Claire Raphael in the Claire Raphael Training Room at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital.

April 24 is a difficult day for Shayna and Justin Raphael.

Their daughter Claire passed away on April 24, 2015. She was almost 11 months old and died of asphyxiation during a nap at her in-home childcare.

Despite the best attempts by the Mary Bridge Emergency Department (ED) team to resuscitate Claire, the baby was gone by the time her parents arrived at the hospital.

Even though the outcome was tragic, the Raphael family believes the Mary Bridge team did everything humanly possible to save their daughter.

"I've said it a million times. If Claire was going to live, it would be because of Mary Bridge," Shayna says. "While everything was going wrong in our lives it felt like Mary Bridge did everything right. We can’t thank you enough."

This year the Raphael family returned to Mary Bridge on the anniversary of Claire's death to see how a donation the family made in Claire's memory will help Mary Bridge staff and patients in the future.

A CPR training room named in Claire's honor and equipped with cutting-edge technology will be a place where Mary Bridge teams can practice resuscitation scenarios on a child-size mannequin. The mannequin breathes and mimics vital signs, and monitors mimic those in the ED.

"Our goal is to shape how we work as a team so we do this better and better," says Michael Long, MD, a physician at Mary Bridge in the ED.

Ted Walkley, MD, now retired, greeted Shayna with a hug when she arrived at Mary Bridge.

Dr. Walkley was medical director of the Mary Bridge ED when Claire arrived. He remembers Claire and kept in touch with Shayna and Justin following their daughter's death.

"If there had been a one in a million chance to save Claire, it would have happened," Dr. Walkley says.

While nothing can change the outcome for the Raphael family, Dr. Walkley and the ED team at Mary Bridge believe the Claire Raphael Training Room can change the outcome for children in the future.

Shayna cradled an 8x10 photo of Claire in her arms while she toured the new training space with her family.

"It's my favorite picture of her," she says.

The picture will hang in the training room as a tribute to Claire and her family's generosity.

"It's always a hard day. This is a productive way to spend it," Shayna says.

raphael family at mary bridge

Justin, Shayna and Lily Raphael at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Claire Raphael Training Room at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital.

Posted in: General Vitals | News

About The Author

Jen Rittenhouse Jen Rittenhouse
Jen Rittenhouse is the social media manager for MultiCare and Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. She writes stories that connect people with hospitals, health care and each other. You can reach her at [email protected].
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