My daughter Ellie was born at 2:25AM May 15th 2005. She was 8 weeks early, and weighed 3lbs. When she was born, they had to resuscitate her because she stopped breathing. She spent many weeks struggling to eat, and maintain her body temp. Life in the special care nursery was very trying on us all.

When we finally got to take her home, we were so excited, but yet scared at the same time. She was having issues feeding, and would stop breathing and turn blue. But we were ready to get home. The first night was magical. It was as if all was right in the world. Then the second night, we had to rush her back to the hospital with a very high fever. We found out she had a nasty UTI that cultured Pseudomonas. We spent another 14 days in the hospital on IV antibiotics.

This became a chronic issue with Ellie’s health. Thus far we have lost count, but she has had at least 24 Kidney infections, uretero-re-implantation, Hernia surgery, MRI’s, CT’s, She sufers from a condition called PVL (Periventricular leukomalacia), this has caused mild Cerebral Palsy, as well as Strabismus. Just an FYI, Mayo Clinic disagrees with the PVL diagnosis, they believe it is Colpocephaly. The only defining difference is weather or not the white matter ever formed in her ventricles, or if it formed and then died off. The result is the same…brain damage.

Fast forward to now. We have a very healthy, happy girl that has gone from maybe never being able to walk without braces on her legs, to being one who is hard to keep up with when she is running. She still gets the occasional UTI, but for the most part we get sent home on oral med’s, and recheck in 10 days.

I have never thought I could ever love someone so much. And I am the happiest father alive! I look forward to many, MANY more exciting birthdays!


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