Ella: It was worth the fight

I don’t know about you, but public speaking isn’t my forte. Last year, I swallowed my fear and told my story on the radio during Radiothon.

I did it because it was vital to me to thank donors like you, anyway I could, for being by our side in what has been the most challenging experience of our lives. If you go up to the NICU and ask the nurses about Ella, they’ll tell you she is ‘a miracle baby.’ She was born prematurely at 27 weeks, weighing only slightly more than a package of butter, at 1.2 pounds.

At birth, Ella was put on a donor funded jet ventilator to help her tiny lungs breath and then on conventional ventilation. In all, she was on life-saving equipment, much of it paid for by people like you, for 7 months. We had many ups and downs. At one point, her abdomen became swollen with fluid.

Ella

When they tried to drain it, her blood pressure dropped and she crashed. Ella was crashing and coding all the time.

It became so serious that my husband and I discussed palliative care. Put yourself in our shoes: we didn’t want her to suffer. We gave ourselves one month. Then miraculously, she got better in two weeks!

But other challenges lay ahead. Ella developed a clot in her heart. While the solution - a stent - was risky for such a small baby, doing nothing meant she would die. The doctors were willing to try everything to keep Ella alive. Thank goodness the 8-hour surgery was successful!

It was worth the fight! Now, although Ella is still fed with a feeding tube, she is developing into a healthy kid.

The list of what Ella has gone through in her year-long stay is astonishing.

Thankfully, you gave my baby the strength to fight for her life, and you showed us that she was worth the fight.

Mary
Ella's mom

Ella

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