Read below as her parents tell their story:
When we first learned we were having a baby we were elated. We flew to St. Croix to tell my wife’s parents and surprised them. We then told my parents as well and our siblings after that.
When we had our first ultra-sound, initially we found out our baby was going to be a girl, and we were ecstatic. Then, the nurse came in and said we need to look at her heart and you will be out of here in 10 minutes. Two hours later we were still in the office because they found that our first born daughter, Hillary, had two holes in her heart. At that moment we went from the best day ever to how are we going to handle this. As Christians, my wife and I began to pray for wisdom and pray for our unborn child.
When Hillary was born they put her on a cart and began to transfer her to the NICU. Once I knew my wife was okay, I escorted my 10 minute old daughter to the NICU. Fortunately, the NICU was on the same floor as the birthing center so it was not a long walk.
We were able to hold Hillary for a few minutes immediately and then longer a few hours after she was stabilized in the NICU. I remember her little hand wrapping around my pinky. Hillary spent 7 days in the NICU, and we never left the hospital. The nurses and doctors were very patient with us as new parents, and we had many questions. They supported my wife and me.
When we finally brought Hillary home, we had to stay on high alert for four months until her heart surgery. Anytime she coughed, sneezed, or made a sound we had to check on her and see if she was starting to turn blue. If she was, we had to call 911 immediately because of her heart condition.
Our fear and anxiety was intense and we could not have anyone come over and see Hillary unless they had a flu shot. The hospital helped us by hanging a sign on her baby carrier and it said, “Please wash your hands before touching mine.” That saved us from telling everyone and they respected the sign.
We heard of Bee Mighty through our speech therapy provider.
Hillary is a very active teenager. She swims 5 days a week, is currently home schooling, and is involved in our local church. Prior to Covid, Hillary was a teen volunteer at the local library and a Sunday School teacher for 4 year olds. Hillary loves to read and learn new things. She is currently learning to bake in a professional kitchen once a week.
My advice to a new family going through a similar process would be to be patient and listen to the medical professionals regarding how to care for their child. If they have a faith, then begin to pray and ask the local church for prayers. Our trust in God is what helped us the most in this experience.