MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Friday is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, and soon communities around the world will be showing support with light and candlelight vigils.

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Ruth Huey, a NICU nurse at Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis, says it’s an important month.

“For moms to feel like they’re not forgotten and that their babies aren’t forgotten,” Huey said.

Infant loss is a personal subject for Huey. Several years ago, before she became a nurse, she gave birth to her daughter Kayleigh. Born with several heart defects, Kayleigh died at just 31 days old. 

“It’s kind of a subject where a lot of people are like, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry.’ But it honestly propelled me in life to want to be a nurse and want to give the care to parents and infants that I received,” Huey said.

She says her job in the NICU allows her to connect to families.

“To be able to be there for people and to be able to say, ‘I’ve walked in your shoes and you know, I know how scary this is,'” Huey said.

“We make relationships with families. We walk through the journey with them,” said Maggie Dibble, assistant nurse manager in the NICU Saint Francis Hospital. “Infant death is higher in the Mid-South, unfortunately. But it’s about one in four women experience this unfortunately.”

Huey says while she has been able to turn her hurt into help, she has this message for other mothers and families.

“Reach out to people. Don’t deal with it alone,” Huey said. “Know that you have support. Know that people love you and people care about you. And your baby has a purpose.”

The Helen James Foundation has worked with Mighty Lights in Memphis to have a light show on both the Hernando Desoto Bridge and Big River Crossing on the Mississippi River in honor of infant loss remembrance Friday night.

The show will run at the top and middle of every hour beginning at sundown until the finale at 10:30.