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Offering parents something to hold onto

Last Modified: January 23, 2024

Women & Children, Generosity Heals


When a family loses a child, nothing can take the place of the memories they thought they would be making. But thanks to an innovative idea and generous donations to the Parkview Health Foundation, parents can have a very special gift.

The concept

John Lozo, healthcare simulation specialist, Parkview Mirro Center for Research & Innovation, had been pondering applications for 3D printing in the healthcare setting when, about four years ago, a co-worker inspired him. “My sister-in-law is a postpartum nurse at Parkview and was part of the bereavement team,” he said. “She mentioned the keepsakes they use for memory making. Then I came across an article about how 3D prints were being created using 3D ultrasounds and I had the idea to utilize the technique for some of the bereavement keepsakes given to families at Parkview’s Family Birthing Centers.”

Forever in Your Heart was born to create a different kind of memento for families navigating the grief of losing a child.

How it helps

Cori McKenzie, MSW, MCH bereavement coordinator, Women’s & Children’s Community Outreach, Parkview Health, shared that the 3D keepsakes are a welcome addition to other items the team prepares for families who have suffered a loss.


“Over the years, we’ve captured footprints, clay impressions and a lock of the baby’s hair, and these are still important parts of the memory-making process,” she said. The 3D mementos are simply another option, with options that can fit into a family’s home however they choose. “I’ve had families tell me they keep it on a shelf in their living room or use it as a night light in a child’s room,” she said. “It’s just another unique way to keep the child’s legacy alive. By introducing this we’ve even been able to make new items for those who had a loss before, so it’s pretty special.”

A gracious family

The ability to hold their little one’s hand or run a finger up their foot is an invaluable gift to parents like Amanda Azbell, who lost her son Gabriel in 2022.

The surprising loss, their second, was something they weren’t prepared for. So, when they were approached about a 3D-printed keepsake the decision was simple, but the value was something they couldn’t truly understand until later in their grief journey.

“The amount of empathy everyone gives is outstanding,” Amanda shared. “A volunteer with Kindred Hearts told us a scan was something we could do for a memento.”

The process for obtaining the scan is very noninvasive and parents can choose between an assortment of replicas and impressions.


The Azbell family, who have other children at home, chose to have the scan and keepsake created. Amanda was surprised by the detail and durability when she picked up the finished items. “I was worried [they] would be fragile, but [they’re] virtually indestructible.”

This has become a way for the entire family to connect with Gabriel. And if something happens to the keepsakes, the team has the scans on file and can create new mementos, if needed. 

Generosity makes a difference

Because of funding provided through the Parkview Health Foundation, all Parkview families who suffer an infant loss can receive two 3D-printed Forever in Your Heart mementos, free of charge. The unique program provides a tangible memory parents and siblings can always treasure, made more meaningful as a gesture of generosity.


“Our kids didn’t get to see Gabriel, so to be able to hold his feet or hands and feel the grooves, is a way of keeping him with us,” Amanda said. “We’re just so grateful that somebody had this idea and followed it through and brought it to Parkview.”

To learn more about bereavement support for families who have suffered the loss of a child through our Healing Hearts support program, visit our list of Classes and Events. Learn about donating to the Forever in Your Heart Fund here or more ways to support the Foundation by visiting


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