It is with heavy hearts we share that Reya Bridget Maren Way of Happy Valley-Goose Bay passed away peacefully with her parents by her side on September 5th, 2021 at the Labrador Health Centre at the age of 5 months old. Reya ‘sunshine’ or Reya ‘the brave’ was born in Happy Valley-Goose Bay to Robert Way and Caitlin Lapalme with a life-limiting rare genetic condition (Zellweger Spectrum Disorder). Reya making it to 5 months old was no guarantee but she showed incredible resiliency fighting through various challenges early in her short life, leaving her family and friends in awe of her strength in the face of adversity.
Left to celebrate Reya’s memory and life are her parents, Robert and Caitlin; her grandparents, Brenda (née Vickers) and George Way, and Maralee Asselstine; her Aunties: Brièle and Élise Lapalme; her extended family of Great-Aunties, Great-Uncles, and close cousins; and all of the close friends and hospital family that she touched in various ways in her short life. Reya is pre-deceased by her Grand-Papa, Alain Lapalme.
Reya stole the heart of whoever she met and acquired a lot of nicknames along the way (Reya Sunshine, Reya the Brave, Little One, Bug, Buggy, Bean, Honey Bear, Miss Reya, Sunshine Girl, Rey) and was an easygoing, cuddly, and curious baby. She learned to make baby “coos”, to smile, and to roll her arm over to look out the window. Reya loved getting her chin and neck rubbed, looking out of windows, snuggles, bath time, her mobile, Grandma M’s singing, play time with Grandma, guitar time with Grandpa and being a nudie tudie. Reya’s dislikes included people picking at her eyes and lips, nasal prongs for oxygen and warm temperatures, she really did not like the heat. Throughout her life, Reya was showered with love, snuggles and kisses, but also was inundated with hockey games by her Dad and cheesy books & movies by her Mom.
Reya spent the first three months of her life under the care of the wonderful NICU medical team at the Janeway Children’s Hospital in St John’s before being transferred up to the Paediatric Medicine Unit for a few weeks. Reya took her second Medevac plane ride home to the Labrador Health Centre with her Mama just shy of 4 months old. Reya then spent nine wonderful days home with her family, her puppy/protector Kenamu, and her caregivers where she was able to go outside and relax with her family before needing to return to hospital care.
Reya’s family would like to extend their most heartfelt thank you for the support, care, compassion, and advocacy her medical care team has provided for Reya since she was born. Reya brought family and friends together in new and stronger ways and taught us all about unconditional love, strength, resiliency and how to appreciate the small moments and things in life. She will forever be remembered on bright sunny days with beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
A visitation and private viewing will be held on Tuesday September 7, 2021 from 7-9 PM at Filatre’s Funeral Home in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only 20 people are allowed to visit at a time, so we kindly ask that visitors maintain social distancing and keep their visits relatively brief to allow space for others. Given the COVID-19 outbreaks occurring across Canada, we ask that people avoid attending if you are feeling unwell or if you have travelled to COVID-19 hotspots within the past 2 weeks.
As an expression of sympathy, donations can be made to the Labrador Health Centre in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, the Janeway Children’s Hospital in St John’s, and/or the Global Foundation for Peroxisomal Disorders.
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Fillatre Funeral Home - Happy Valley Goose Bay
45 Aspen Dr
Happy Valley Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada