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West Fargo parents remember daughter by giving gift of life

Jeremy and Teri Snyder remember their daughter Kinley, who has given the gift of life to two children.2 / 2

West Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A West Fargo couple is mourning the loss of their beloved 20 month-old baby girl, who has left behind incredible lessons, and the gift of life.

Kinley Ray Snyder died after an accidental fall down a short set of stairs at the family's house. What was thought to be just a simple scrape and a quick trip to the ER turned into an injury to her brain stem that gave her no chance of survival.

In her short 20 months, Kinley Ray Snyder had wound those who loved her around her heart. Born with Sotos Syndrome, Kinley endured multiple surgeries. While at times doctors gave her poor odds of surviving some of them, she did and became a tenacious toddler.

Teri Snyder - Kinley's Mom: "Every time she beat something it would be the next, Wow!! And she made everybody stronger and funnier and just excited about everything."

In fact, in recent months, she had excelled in therapy, making progress; a story that a doting father now cherishes.

Jeremy Snyder - Kinley's Dad: "She was so excited when she did something new, she was just proud. She would do it, and she's just look at me like, 'Ha Ha look what I just did.'"

Just days ago, Kinley died after she tumbled down a short flight of stairs at the house. No one knew it at the time that it was more than just a bloody nose. Her brain stem injury left no chance of survival, and so the family willingly chose transplant as a way to let their little girl's spirit live on.

Teri Snyder: "It would have been selfish for us not to."

Jeremy Snyder: "You know, she is living on in two people and making their families happy. I just think that maybe that little girl is making her parents happy as she did us."

The day this baby was born, her parents named her Kinley. What does it mean? Hope; something Kinley showed everyday of her 20-months.

Teri Snyder: "Patience and strength and humor."

And what her parents now cling to as they mourn her loss.

It has been just days since the transplants, but all recipients are doing well. The funeral for Kinley will be held tomorrow at 10 AM, at Holy Cross Catholic Church in West Fargo.

Kevin Wallevand

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East. He is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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