On May 30, Jennifer Rozycki and Javier Tapia entered the hospital excited to deliver their full-term baby girl. A few days later, they suffered the devastation of losing their daughter, Hannah Marie, coupled with more than $10,000 in bills to cover the funeral and burial costs.
Friends and family are rallying around Rozycki,Tapia, and their two boys, trying to ease the financial burden by organizing a fundraiser - Healing After Hannah.
The benefit barbeque is planned for from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, July 8 at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church. Entertainment includes: face painting, moon jump, bean bag tournament and other games. Raffle prizes include: White Sox tickets, Kane County Cougar tickets, a night stay at Oswego’s AmericInn, and various gift certificates. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for kids.
The goal is to raise $10,000 to cover the costs associated with the funeral, burial and headstone. More than $1,100 has already been raised. Donations can be made online through the Give Forward campaign. To donate a raffle prize or for more information about the barbeque, contact Andrea Minton at 630-913-9043 or email@example.com
Andrea Minton met Rozycki in 1999 when they attended college together.
Minton said that Rozycki underwent a scheduled cesarean. She was 38-weeks pregnant and the baby was measuring large. The doctors ran tests to check Hannah’s lungs and she tested healthy, Minton explained.
Minton said that during the C-section something went terribly wrong. Hannah stopped breathing and the hospital staff had to perform CPR. Hannah was put on life support and rushed to Lutheran General Children’s Hospital. She never breathed on her own and showed no brain activity. The family chose to remove her from life support a few days later, on June 3.
“You never expect this to happen to someone you know,” Minton said.
Leah Picek met Rozycki in sixth grade at a camp for children with diabetes, which she and Rozycki both battle.
“Jen did everything right up to the delivery. You see things like this on TV. It just doesn’t seem real. It’s absolutely devastating,” Picek said.
Picek is a cosmetologist and Rozycki asked her to paint Hannah’s fingernails and toenails after she passed away.
“Jen had told Hannah she’d be a pretty princess and that’s why she asked me to do it. It was very hard. She was still warm and I had to keep reminding myself that she wasn’t just asleep,” Picek said.
Rozycki graduated in May from Aurora University with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She planned to have the summer off to care for Hannah and then search for work in the fall. Tapia works three jobs.
“Jen and her family are very grateful for any help. They have no way to pay for this. They live paycheck to paycheck,” Minton explained.
“Jen is the kind of mother I aspire to be. She is patient, kind, just an honest and good person,” Picek said.
Picek said she hopes people will “open their hearts because this never should’ve happened and it’s one less thing that the family should have to worry about. They’re a really hardworking family and could really use the help,” she said.
Picek said Dieterle Memorial Home in Montgomery was wonderful and is allowing Rozycki and Tapia to make payment arrangements.
“They were very accommodating. They went above and beyond. Hannah looked like a doll in her casket and they even clipped a piece of her hair for Jen to keep,” Picek said.