Music department’s special tribute honoring professors who lost their son

BrenShavia Jordan | Broadcast Reporter

“It is hard to put into words how grateful we are for this outpouring of love as we grieve our sweet baby.”

Dr. Pat and Dr. Rebecca Flavin, both professors in the Baylor College of Arts and Science, are living through an unimaginable time but are comforted through the support of their colleagues.

Their son, Felix Flavin, was born with a heart defect, and through the course of his treatments, the couple says their Baylor family has been there.

“Our Baylor family has been incredibly supportive,” Rebecca said. “Prenatally, as each scan brought more discouraging news, and postnatally.”

Felix went through two open-heart surgeries, one at seven days old and the other at six months. Over the course of the Spring 2020 semester, Felix fought for his life on EMCO. After being hospitalized for nearly three months, 16-month-old Felix was placed on a ventilator after the flu turned into pneumonia, which led to his death.

After hearing this devastating news during a Summer Faculty Institute, their faculty from the School of Music felt compelled to do something.

Dr. Sandor Ostlund, Associate Professor of Double Bass, arranged a musical tribute in 38 hours.

“After a time of prayer, we convened the music faculty together and decided to create this tribute,” Ostlund said. “Really it was an effort to bring some small comfort to a family who is experiencing the most horrible, tragic loss imaginable.”

The tribute included songs of faith such as, “Amazing Grace,” “Jesus Loves Me” and “How Great Thou Art”.

“When anyone suffers a loss you want to stand in and help,” Ostlund said. “This was something tangible we could give, using what talents and skills we had.”

Dr. Kimberly Monzo, Associate Professor of Voice, shared why she wanted to be a part of this tribute.

“It’s an honor to be a part of something like that, to join my colleagues with our gifts,” Monzo said. “Mostly it was just something we wanted to do for Felix and his parents. It is a very difficult time, and the best thing we can do is show our love.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the couple was unable to have family and friends at the funeral. However, they are grateful for their Baylor family of students who sent them notes of prayers and scriptures during the course of Felix’s care and also their colleagues who stepped in when needed.