Monday, September 24, 2012

Premature with Drug Addiction

29 wks premature, drug addicted

Born clinically dead in the toilet of her mother's county jail cell. She suffers from a nerve disorder that causes tremors, a seizure disorder, damaged vocal chords and trachea due to contracting undiagnosed chlamydia in the birth canal and an underdeveloped lung. She also suffers from significant asthma.

seizure disorder, nervous system disorders, vocal chord and trachea damage, athsma

Where do I begin. PT/OT for several years, several surgeries, continuing speech and neurological care. Takes meds to control seizures and help cut down on hand tremor and steroids for her lungs/asthma.

Hand to Hold serves all NICU families
Adoptive Parenting as well as other adoption support organizations have services to help when dealing with babies going through drug related or health issues

Personal Story:
When we met Anna Marie she had been laying in the hospital alone for almost three months with no mommy to love her. The nurses were doing all they could to care for her - and we credit her survival to their excellent care - when our foster care worker rec'd a call from her attending physician with the news that she was failing to improve and that they had "done all they could" Anna had "no one to live for" and was dying. Her lungs were so scarred from almost continual pneumonia and intubation with the complications of chlamydia that she would cry with no sound - just bubbles. Her O2 would drop so low at times they weren't sure she would recover. When we met her, we were told that she would likely not survive, but at least we could "love her until the end". Even our pediatrician warned us that we were very likely to get our hearts broken because she was so very ill and her prognosis was so grave. I met her on a Wednesday night in late April of 2007. She weighed just four pounds. I moved into the hospital where we bounced back and forth from the PICU to a room just across from the nurses station. We fought and fought and prayed and prayed until our knees were worn out -- she came home 8 months later, was in and out alot with pneumonia and we had O2 at home most of the time but she was improving every day. On New Years Day of 2012 she celebrated her 5th birthday and has amazed all the doctors who have ever cared for her! We still battle a "little" lung on her right side and the seizures, tremors and delays can be discouraging at times but she is a precious, precious gift that we are so incredibly grateful for. I am looking forward to being a part of this special group of mommies! - hope the photo comes through, she was a flower girl this spring and it looks like she is dancing with the tree in her hand!

Contributed by MOM Elizabeth Harkins

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