NFL Player Ryan Kelly Announces Death of Baby Daughter Mary: 'I'll Forever Wonder Who You'd Be'

The Indianapolis Colts player and his wife Emma experienced a pregnancy loss at 19 weeks along

Ryan Kelly Instagram
Photo: Ryan Kelly Instagram

NFL player Ryan Kelly and his wife Emma are mourning the loss of their baby girl.

On Monday, the couple shared on Instagram that their daughter, Mary Kate, had died. Emma was 19 weeks pregnant with the couple's first child when she learned her daughter's "little heart just stopped for reasons unknown" and would have to deliver the baby.

After almost 48 hours in the hospital and 24 hours in labor, Emma gave birth to baby Mary on Dec. 17, she shared in her emotional post.

"Nothing made me happier than being your Dad. You gave your Mom and I that gift," Kelly wrote on Instagram alongside a series of photos, which included a shot of Mary's tiny handprint and a picture of the couple looking at their baby. "You were simply a miracle and always will be. I'm sorry you never got to open those sweet eyes and see us or take your first steps but you have angel wings now."

"You left this world too soon but we know God had a bigger purpose for you. Your mom and I find comfort knowing you're being loved on by your great grandparents," he continued. "Thank you for watching over us and your future siblings. I'll forever wonder who you'd be today. Until we meet again my sweet girl, I love you 🦋"

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

RELATED GALLERY: 39 Celebrities Who Have Shared Their Miscarriage Stories, in the Hopes of Helping Others

In Emma's heartbreaking post, she explained that sharing the news on social media was "necessary" for the pair to "begin our healing and accept our new reality."

"One of our Angel nurses, Kalyn, told us this would be the hardest thing we'll ever do in our life, and I pray to God she's right. Because this feels worse than hard, it feels so evil and cruel," Emma wrote. "The pain and brokenness is so unbearable for Ryan and i we don't even know where to begin."

While Emma said she was initially "so angry" that she had to deliver the baby, she said it turned out to be "the biggest blessing out of this nightmare."

"It gave Ryan and I the opportunity to hold our little Saint, Mary Kate, before officially saying goodbye to her," she said. "These 19 weeks with her opened our hearts & souls more than we ever imagined possible & I'm forever grateful we had some time, earth-side, with the little girl who made us mom and dad. She was tiny, perfect and incredibly loved from everyone who knew she existed. I don't think we'll ever understand why God decided to call her home when he did but our faith is unshaken. He knows better than we & she was needed back home, in Heaven. 🤍👼🦋"

Emma also went on to thank those "lifting us through this" including their "family, friends, community north staff, & the entire Colts community💙"

Sharing their condolences, the Colts' official community account replied to Kelly's post, "We love you Kelly fam 💙"

Related Articles