BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — In August 2019, Julian Romano was born prematurely with fetal hydrops, which means he had excessive fluid around his organs.

The doctors couldn’t save him.

“The decision was made to take him off everything so we could hold our son and be with him in those last moments. He survived three minutes in our arms,” said his mother, Dana Romano, of Branford. “At that moment when my son took his final breath, I knew my life was going to be forever changed.”

Romano, who has three other children, said she felt isolated and misunderstood. So, she turned to Hope After Loss, which provides support groups and services to grieving parents.

“I needed, yearned to talk to somebody who would validate my feelings, to let me know it was OK that I was feeling this way,” she said.

She found what she was looking for. Her husband, Dan, even started a group for dads. And all Hope After Loss meetings are virtual.

“It’s really good, we have a core group of guys that come on every month,” Dan Romano said.

“You don’t have to say anything, you can just listen, you don’t even need to have your camera on. And a lot of people find that’s really helpful,” said Christina Mailhos, the executive director of Hope After Loss.

Group members are expected to meet in person at the upcoming Footprints On Our Hearts Remembrance Walk and 5K.

The names of lost children are read aloud during a special ceremony. Mailhos said it’s such a moving moment.

“It really is something that you can’t describe because there are so few places where people can hear their babies’ names like that,” she said

“You’ll be amazed to see the sea of support,” Dan said.

The Romanos welcomed Olivia Juliana, named for her brother, last year. Dana Romano said pregnancy after the loss was scary, emotional, and beautiful.

She has a blog and shares her experience with other parents. She hopes to help someone while honoring her son’s memory.

“I made a promise to my son that I would speak his name until my last dying breath,” she said. “I’m sharing my son’s story and keeping up my end of the bargain.”

The Hope After Loss walk takes place on Oct. 23 at Hubbard Park in Meriden.