Bailey entered this world on Sept. 24, 2013 at 29 weeks gestation; weighing 2 lbs. 7 oz. She was born less than 48 hours after her mother, Heather, was diagnosed with hellp syndrome, a life-threatening pregnancy complication.
In her 87-day stay at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Bailey faced similar challenges to other premature babies, like respiratory complications and anemia. She also had struggles of her own. This included multiple hemangiomas – red birthmarks on her body and liver – as well as hypothyroidism which was uncovered in a blood test. The NICU team gave Bailey medications to begin treating both conditions. Then not long before she was sent home, doctors discovered that a valve in Bailey’s heart was not closing properly. It was not life-threatening, but a situation to be monitored.
A final diagnosis was not expected. During an eye exam, the doctor found that Bailey has cataracts.
Through all of this, the doctors and nurses at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger’s NICU met every new obstacle with determination and care. Bailey came home on Dec. 20, 2013 without special medical equipment.
Bailey has continued to see specialist at Children’s Hospital over the last two years. She received shots for RSV (respiratory virus) protection for four months after leaving the NICU. She continues to see her endocrinologist and has blood drawn every three months to monitor her hypothyroidism, which is doing well. She also continues to see a hematologist for her hemangiomas.
Heather says, “They have been wonderful in caring for her hemangiomas and monitoring the medication. I am thrilled to announce that the multiple hemangiomas on her liver are now gone!”
Bailey continues to see her cardiologist and dermatologist as well. She still requires extra iron to keep her levels normal, but nothing a Flintstone vitamin can’t fix. As for the cataracts, doctors are still keeping a close check on them. She is right on the edge of needing surgery to remove them, but for now, that is on hold.
“Bailey has come so far in the last two years and I owe it first, to my almighty God, but also to Children’s Hospital at Erlanger and the staff which has, and continues to, treat my daughter,” says Heather. “Each visit is made memorable by the attention and care shown by each and every doctor and nurse we encounter. Without the medical technology and the incredible staff, my daughter never would have made it this far. Thank you all for my amazing gift!”