Thursday, August 13, 2015

August 13 - Dear Nicholas Sparks (Guest Blogger)

Dear Mr. Sparks,

Lily Grace McDonald was born on Feb. 6, 2006 at Albany Medical Center in Upstate New York. Lily was the younger of twin girls born to my sister and her husband. At 36 weeks, only 6 days from a scheduled c-section, the technician saw something on an ultrasound that he was concerned about. My sister was rushed to Albany Medical Center where she was admitted for additional testing and consultation with a team of neo-natal specialists. The following day Lily was diagnosed with CDH and believed to have a small chance of survival after birth. On Feb. 6, my sister gave birth to twin girls, Ella Rose and Lily Grace. Ella was born in good health and we were overjoyed at our new arrival. Lily was immediately rushed to the NICU where she was placed on a ventilator to assist her breathing. A few hours later, doctors were encouraged by her progress and called Boston Children's Hospital to accept Lily as a candidate for surgery. Children's Hospital agreed and was willing to perform the operation. Later that evening Lily was baptized in the NICU and in the early morning hours was transported by ambulance to Boston. A few hours later we received word that Lily arrived in Boston and once stabilized would undergo surgery. She was placed on ECMO and the following morning she went into surgery. Lily continued to show us her fighting spirit and will to live. She survived the surgery and with only partial development of one lung and no development of the other and was doing well in the critical hours after surgery. Two days later, she suffered brain hemorrhaging and seizures and was believed to have severe brain damage. On Feb. 14, 2006, Lily was removed from ECMO and passed in the loving arms of her mother and father. Lily is survived by her twin sister, Ella, her older brother, Evan and her loving parents, Dana and Tom. While we had known her for only 8 days, we believe Lily knew we were there and how much she was loved. Lily made us stronger. She made us more spiritual. She showed us that even against the smallest odds, there is hope. She was a fighter and an angel and continues to look down upon us filling us with hope that life will go on and we have so many blessings to count. We look forward to meeting her again someday. And want her to know how proud we are and how much we love her.

Lily's family (New York)

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