Ultrasound photos of our beautiful Gabriel at age 8 weeks and 12 weeks.
Gabriel Leroy Hilgenbrink
  • Place of passing:
    Dallas, Texas, United States
Gabriel: Angel of God... "God is my strength"

Our dear Gabriel was with us for only a short time here on earth, but he will forever be with us in our hearts…

We were more than overjoyed when we discovered we were expecting a baby – our first child…even more wonderful, Cheryl found out right before Andy’s birthday and gave him baby-related birthday gifts to surprise him with the news. The excitement of being parents was almost overwhelming. We already saw ourselves as “Mom” and “Dad,” preparing for our little one – we just had to wait to “officially” meet him or her.

The first ultrasound at 8 weeks went perfectly and we cried happy tears at the sight of our little one’s heartbeat. However, after a standard blood test near the end of the first trimester, we were told our baby had Trisomy 18 – a rare condition that causes numerous developmental abnormalities. We learned 90 percent of affected children don't live to their first birthday, and those who do have immense struggles.

Because he’s our son, we loved him no matter what, and couldn’t imagine doing anything less. We gave him a name - Gabriel (after the biblical angel) Leroy (after Cheryl's grandfather). Unfortunately, just days after we learned of his affliction, an ultrasound revealed that little Gabriel’s heart had stopped beating when he was 12 weeks and 2 days young. The overwhelming excitement quickly turned into a chronic overwhelming sorrow.

We trust he is with other loved ones that have passed on, and is being cared for by his heavenly Father. Although he was never “born,” he did exist here on earth and we cannot wait until we hold him in heaven. Gabriel cannot be replaced. He had a life. He had a heartbeat. And he’ll always have our hearts. We will never forget our first child. This website, we hope, brings awareness to Trisomy 18 (www.trisomy18.org) and pays tribute to the incredible impact Gabriel Leroy had – and continues to have – on our lives.

No matter how long you know your child, it only takes a moment to love them forever.

        "It is not the length of a life, but the depth of it that matters." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thank you for your love and support!

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Mauree Harrell on 19th March 2017

"Dear Gabriel,
I have enjoyed loving on your little brother, Camden. He is happy and healthy and growing fast. Your mom and Dad are wonderful parents to Camden. And while they are pouring out their love on your little brother, they are remembering you always. I visited the Children’s Garden at their church where they dedicated a stone in your memory. We will always remember you too and look forward to meeting you one day in Heaven."

This tribute was added by Chaunta Simmons on 28th April 2015

"Prayers of peace and comfort. Thank you for sharing and expressing so beautifully the mixed emotions that comes with the loss of a child.  As you stated " it only takes a moment to love them forever"."

This tribute was added by Raeleen Mcadam on 24th March 2015

"so sad,thinking of you Cheryl and andy, RIP Gabriel sleeping with the angels,"

This tribute was added by Martin Bak on 22nd March 2015

"Dear Cheryl and Andy, I know without a doubt that Gabriel is with our Lord and Savior in heaven. I pray that I will be able to hold him when I get there and when I see you all I will let you know what a wonderful person he is. May God bless you in the wonderful life God has in store for you now and in future."

Leave a Tribute:
Invite your family and friends
to visit this memorial:

Subscribe to receive e-mail notifications when others contribute to this memorial.

Click on a photo to enlarge.

This memorial is administered by:

Cheryl Hilg


Have a suggestion for us?

We are waiting for your feedback!