Meet Brielle, Miracle Baby

I worked with Brielle’s parents, Katie & Montana, not long ago and think they are are one of the cutest couples ever. Everyone at work was really excited for them when we found out they were expecting. When Katie’s pregnancy reached 23 weeks, their journey took an unexpected turn. Here is Brielle’s story in a nutshell, written by her sweet Mama, Katie.

Written January 2019

“At 23 weeks pregnant, Montana and I found out that our sweet baby girl, the one we’ve been dreaming of and praying for for so long, has an extremely complex cardiac abnormality. It was absolutely heartbreaking to hear that our daughter wasn’t going to make it. Our doctor told us that she was going to pass away in utero, and if by some miracle she did not, she wouldn’t last long—that we may never get the chance to hold her alive.

She was given a 1% chance of survival past birth.

Our doctor encouraged us to get an abortion but I knew in my heart that she deserved the chance at life.

I shudder to think of that time and where we are now. Because we didn’t give up on our girl, she is now 10 1/2 months and thriving beautifully at home. It hasn’t been an easy journey. We’ve had extreme highs and lows. There’s been a tremendous amount of pain, but there’s been a million times more love.

The future is scary, but I’m grateful for today. The good parts and the bad. I’m so grateful for all of it. So grateful we never gave up.

Thank you for fighting with us, Brielle LaRue.”

Written March 2019

“Brielle has a very complex cardiac abnormality that consists of Incomplete Pentalogy of Cantrell, Ectopia Cordis, Double Outlet Right Ventricle, Pulmonary Stenosis, a VSD, and an omphalocele.

Brielle needs a combination of many rare and complex surgeries to fix her heart and her other abdominal defects. Currently, her heart is acting as a 1 ventricle heart. To survive, she needs her heart to work as a 2 ventricle heart, which is a surgery that is only offered at Boston Children’s Hospital (Brielle and her family currently live just south of Salt Lake City, Utah). Other surgeries she will need include: placing her heart back in her chest (though covered by skin, part of her heart is protruding out of her chest because of her abdominal wall defect), fixing her omphalocele, creating an artificial sternum, and closing up her abdominal wall defect.

Brielle’s insurance will cover all of her surgeries, but we need $7,000 to help us get to Boston for her to meet her miracle doctors. The first 2 days that we are there will consist of all sorts of tests and imaging so they will have all of the info they need to decide if they can do the surgeries and make plans for how they will. As of right now, they are 90% positive they’ll be able to help Brielle.

If they do decide to do the surgeries, her first heart surgery will be on June 5th.

We’re feeling so blessed and excited (& terrified!). It feels so good to finally have some sort of plan in place.”
At each Ruby Bucket retreat, we have a fundraiser in memory of my sister, Heather Clark, and donate the money to a good cause. This year we decided to raise money for Brielle’s trip to Boston. We were blown away by the generosity of our Ruby Bucket Babes! We raffled off this beautiful quilt that was donated anonymously. Tansy was the lucky winner!  We love our Ruby Bucket Babes and their kind, generous hearts.

We sent Brielle’s Mama the money right after the retreat. We received this sweet card in the mail addressed to “Ruby Bucket Babes.”

The card reads:

Ruby Bucket Babes–

Thank you so much for thinking of our little family and for your generous donation made to help our Brielle get the care she needs in Boston.

It’s been a rough but beautiful journey, and we’re so incredibly touched by your love and support! We appreciate all that you are and all that your group does! We can’t thank you enough for your kindness–it means more than you know!

God Bless!


Montana, Katie & Brielle Welch

On 5/22/19, Katie posted this on Facebook:

“Pre-Boston check-up

Big sis is looking good, and has the clear to fly! No signs of heart failure which is an absolute miracle, so she is in perfect health for a surgery.

I can’t believe that this time next week, we would have already met Brielle’s miracle surgeons.


To continue following their story, find them on Facebook and Instagram:

Instagram:  @brielle_strong

To donate to their Boston fund, they have a GoFundMe account here.