WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Evelyn Kennedy Cochran wasn't around for long, but now even those who didn’t get to meet her will know what she meant to her parents.
"It brings up unbelievable joy and sometimes unbearable heartache," said Kent Cochran, Evelyn's father in an interview with WFMY News 2. "But it was worth it and she continues to be worth it."
According to Novant Health, Evelyn’s parents, Nicki and Kent Cochran, found out when they were 20 weeks pregnant that something was wrong.
Evelyn had a genetic disorder called Trisomy 18 that threatened her life.
The condition causes a combination of birth defects that impact nearly every organ in the body, something newborns can’t often sustain.
"Having a diagnosis for your child like this can feel so isolating and you can feel so alone," Nicki shared.
Evelyn was born at 37 weeks and her mother, father and the neonatal team at Forsyth Medical Center anxiously awaited her arrival, knowing hers would be a little extra special.
In the event Evelyn lived for only minutes, the family arranged for a photographer to be in the delivery room to capture them.
The third-time parents were prepared for Evelyn’s life to not last very long, so when they learned they could take her home, at only 2 pounds, 6 ounces, they were happy, but scared.
Kent, her father, knew what Evelyn’s diagnosis would mean long before she was born as an anesthesiology resident at Wake Forest University.
Evelyn’s earthly body was with the family for 57 days, but her legacy currently lives on inside Forsyth Medical Center’s Room 3130.
The Cochrans paid for the transformation of the room into a new neonatal palliative care room at Forysth called “The Wildflower Room.”
"Her legacy could be providing, um, a refuge, a place for other moms, for other babies, for other dads and other siblings like her brother and sister,
"We realize that we cannot lessen any of their pain with this, this isn’t going to make anything better by any means, but our hope is that just in the midst of it, they will feel loved," Nicki said.
The room and Evelyn’s life was celebrated during a blessing and dedication ceremony on Tuesday, January 15 with friends, family and medical staff that cared for Evelyn.
"This happens quite frequently -- this room will be needed about once a week," Kent said. "We just want to meet them where they are and know that we support them."
During the last days of her life, the family traveled to 8 different cities across the U.S. and it was finally in Montana that Evelyn took her last breath.
The day after her death, the family picked wildflowers from a field near Yellowstone and they remind them of her whenever they see them.
A quote on a collage board hanging in the room reads, "In a field of roses she is a wildflower."