This year’s holiday season is filled with a more somber spirit this year than in most, and for a variety of reasons around the world.
CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski and his wife, Wall Street Journal reporter Rachel Louise Ensign, announced the tragic news this week that their baby daughter died on Christmas Eve.
“Hope for a Christmas miracle for our family”
Just hours before the 9-month-old Francesca passed away, Kaczynski called on his social media followers to join his family in prayer.
“If anyone can spare a pray for our Bean this Christmas, would just ask that they include Francesca in their thoughts and hope for a Christmas miracle for our family,” he tweeted.
Tragically, that request was soon followed by the sad news.
“We’re heartbroken to have to announce our beautiful daughter Francesca passed away last night in the arms of her mom and dad,” Kaczynski tweeted. “There will always be a Bean-sized hole in our hearts for her. We’re so grateful to have known her love. Francesca we love you.”
“I’m confident she will fight this”
Born with a genetic hearing disorder and diagnosed in September with an “extremely rare and very aggressive rhabdoid brain tumor,” Francesca’s young life started out with severe challenges.
Following multiple brain surgeries, her family confirmed that she went on to develop meningitis.
Nevertheless, her father praised the medical team behind those procedures and touted his baby’s response to treatment in a September tweet, writing: “Less than a week ago she had two brain surgeries and she’s already at home and smiling. I’m confident she will fight this.”
“A kind of love they never knew before”
Additional complications attributed to chemotherapy treatments further exacerbated her health problems, including the development of a fungal infection that led to her depending on life support.
In an online post, Kaczynski and his wife penned an obituary in which they recalled various moments in her short life during which Francesca had a positive impact on those around her.
The grieving father wrote that his daughter “showed her parents a kind of love they never knew before and they will never forget it.”