Eliana Palacio Obituary (6/17/2018 – 7/22/2022) – Mystic, CT

Mystic – Eliana Maria Palacio, born June 17, 2018, went to her eternal beach, in her parents arms, with loving family surrounding her July 22, 2022. Eliana was born in New Haven, in the Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital and started with the love of being in front of the camera the first day of her life when the newborn photographers said she was the most beautiful baby they’d ever seen. The photography continued, whether it was after a new pair of her extensive shoe and outfit collection, sitting by the sea, kicking, and listening to the waves; or her proud mom behind the camera when she was working so hard during her multiple weekly therapy sessions.

Eliana maneuvered her setbacks in life with grace, not reaching typical milestones, but adapting to the life that God chose for her. Whether it be riding her adaptive Go Baby Go Jeep provided by her wonderful occupational therapist’s efforts, walking the grounds of Pequot Health Center with her gait trainer and dedicated physical therapist, saying “Oh boy,” when she and her patient speech therapist would look at her favorite pictures. The strength, perseverance and resilience Eliana displayed daily assured us all that she was at peace with the path that God had given her. Elli was blessed with any and every toy you could imagine, but was completely content with her favorite sensory bubble toys and the simplest things in life.

Eliana attended Mystic River Magnet school where she captured the many hearts of her classmates, who would have to take turns holding her hand in her wheelchair whilst being wheeled out and picked up and dropped off. Her caring, patient, and extraordinary teacher, Ms. M, made her time in school one of her most treasured memories. Eliana was also blessed with a beautiful support system through Nurturing Families; and Grace will always be one of her weekly visitors that she cherished the most.

Eliana’s favorite memories were spending time at Camp Harkness and any and every waterfront with her mommy – on the beach listening to the waves, kicking her feet in the sand and having the sun beat down over the many choices of sun hats she enjoyed wearing. She enjoyed traveling to shop for new outfits and shoes with her mom and dad for said photography opportunities and having strawberry sprinkled donuts in her favorite vehicle, her daddy’s big diesel truck on Saturday mornings. She loved being the “unofficial manager” of the Bridge Market and accrued a gathering of customers who would stop in to see if she was “working” and enjoying her daily slice of Meme’s cheese pizza.

Eliana is survived by her mother Christine Dole of Mystic; father Richard Palacio of Greenwich; grandmother Karen Dole of Mystic; Tía, Lina Palacio of Greenwich; first cousins, Mychal Dole, Oscar and Sarah Rendon and Ayla Dole; great-grandparents, Adele and Jim McGuire, Noank; grandmother Maria Espinosa of Colombia; her special dog Zowee; and extensive number of aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, classmates and a universe of people who loved her endlessly. She was predeceased by both of her grandfathers, Oscar Palacio and Kevin Dole.

Eliana was able to have her one last wish on July 12, 2022, where she traveled to Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven, to sit by the beach with the extensive outpouring of planning through Yale transport, PICU and Make A Wish. We will be eternally grateful that we were able to have that opportunity of an absolutely perfect beach day.

There are not enough words to thank the exceptional Yale New Haven pediatric intensive care unit and transport team (Fraser Weir) for your efforts in giving Eliana the last six months of her life, the best she could have had. Each nurse, doctor, PCA, therapist, child life specialist, Chaplin and everyone who met Eliana during this time has a piece of her heart with them forever; and we know she forever and ever impacted the unit. We’re all so very thankful for the care she received there, as well as for Dr. Glenn and the staff at Goldstar Pediatrics. We would also like to sincerely thank her guardian angel, Dr. Regina Palazzo, for being a fierce advocate for Eliana’s health during the last year of her life and a true part of our family indefinitely.

“We will forever hear your laugh in the waves and see your smile in the clouds our one and only Eliana.” Eternally by the Sea – If you would like to follow Eliana’s beautiful life journey, please find her Instagram page at @embracingEliana

Eliana’s family will receive relatives and friends from 4 o 7 p.m. Friday, July 29, at the Mystic Funeral Home located on Route 1 in Mystic. Please note, the GPS address to the funeral home is: 51 Williams Avenue, Mystic, CT. 06355. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 30, at St. Mary Mother of the Redeemer Church, 69 Groton Long Point Road, Groton. All are asked to go directly to church Saturday morning. Eliana’s burial will be held privately.

In addition to a floral tribute, the Dole and Palacio families would prefer a donation to the following organizations: The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (www.umdf.org); Yale New Haven Hospital PICU Unit 20 York Street, New Haven, CT. 06510 or to the Ronald McDonald House (support.rmhc.org). The family invites you to visit www.mysticfuneralhome.com to leave a note of condolence.

Published by The Day on Jul. 27, 2022.

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