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Colts center Ryan Kelly announces tragic loss of unborn daughter

The Colts community and the entire NFL have embraced the Kellys, offering them love and support after the couple broke the news of their devastating loss.
Credit: AP
Indianapolis Colts center Ryan Kelly (78) watches a replay during an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)

INDIANAPOLIS — It has been a heartbreaking week for Indianapolis Colts center Ryan Kelly and his wife Emma as they, and the entire Colts family, mourn the loss of their daughter, Mary Kate. 

In a social media post, Emma explained she was 19 weeks along, one week from the halfway mark of her pregnancy, when she experienced complications and went to the hospital where she found out her daughter's heart had stopped. 

"I was told there was no other choice but to deliver our baby next. Ryan and I spent almost 48 hours in the hospital. I labored for 24 hours with her before she made her entrance on December 17th," Emma said in the post. "I was so angry at first that I had to deliver her, only for it to become 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. 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."

Ryan also announced the news on social media writing a message to his daughter that said in part, "Nothing made me happier than being your Dad. You gave your Mom and I that gift. 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 ... 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."

Kelly was placed on the team's COVID-19 reserve list before the Colts' Dec. 5 game against the Houston Texans. He was taken off of it on Dec. 14. 

After the team's bye week, Kelly was listed on the team's injury report as having a knee injury, illness and a personal matter leading up to Saturday's game against the New England Patriots. He was later declared inactive for the game due to his family's personal matter. 

Since they broke the news of their tragic loss, the Kellys have received support and love from all sides.

The Patriots head coach and at least one player extended their sympathies to the Kellys following the game Saturday night.

"First of all, I'd like to extend my sympathy to Ryan and his family. Our hearts go out to him," said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

"Thoughts and prayers and my heart are with Ryan Kelly and his wife, going through what they're going through," said Patriots center David Andrews.

Colts punter Rigo Sanchez commented on Ryan's post saying he was praying for the couple. 

David Thornton, a former outside linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans, also expressed his condolences. In a comment on Emma's post, he said, "We will not cease praying for you. 'the Lord is close to the brokenhearted' the sun will shine again. love you guys!"

And, the official Colts Community Instagram account commented on both of the couples' posts showing support on behalf of the entire Colts family. 

"We love you so much and are behind you every step of the way," their comment said. 

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