I was born at 25 weeks and weighed 1lb 7.6 oz only 13.25 inches long. I spent my first 93 days at St. Luke’s NICU.
I had my first cry but a valve to my heart was not closed completely and blood was pumping into my lungs and I stopped breathing. They quickly resuscitated me and rushed me to the NICU. The next day I had heart surgery to close the valve. My lungs were still weak and I was placed on a ventilator. It was almost a month before my parents could hold me. I have a scar that runs from my wrist to my fingers and lost the tips of my index finger and thumb result from an IV burn. We refer to my thumb as my “special thumb”. I had my eyes checked and diagnosed with ROP. After I was given the clearance to go home on oxygen I would have to come back for laser eye surgery.
I had my eyes checked about every week to watch for retinal detachment because I had bleeding behind my eye. Almost a year later, I was told my eye was stable and can follow up on a semi year basis and my pulmonary doctor took me off oxygen as well—it was a great birthday.
Winters became my weakness; I was either really sick at home or hospitalized. In 2010 I had a retina follow up and it was discovered I had small holes and needed laser surgery again, which discovered a retinal detachment in my right eye. I was scheduled for an emergency appointment with a specialist in Houston where Dr. Holz made the decision that a Scleral Buckle would be most appropriate. The retina reattached in my right eye and I have a partial detachment in my left eye but visit doctors regularly to monitor it.
I will have these health concerns my whole life and all because I was premature. Each year I get stronger and enjoy things as other 6 year olds do. I love karate, ballet, math, cooking, space, science and enjoy talking. Most of all I love my whole family and my parents raise me to think how lucky I am and now I want to make a change. Through all the treatments, procedures and surgeries I have stayed positive and a fighter. Everyone deserves a chance; help babies like me have the chance to live their life, donate.
Watch my video http://youtu.be/M97amQSOcPc
The mission of March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.