There are so many things I love about this "job". The people that we get to meet being one of the top things. We are able to encounter people from all walks of life, who have dealt with unthinkable situations. I love to learn more about their stories and watching their families come together. In the end, in every single case there is one thing that always stands out and never ceases to amaze me; strength.
On July 14th, Deanna and Darren welcomed their beautiful little girl, Ireland, into the world. Ireland was just 35 weeks and although she came out crying, there were more complications beyond the surface. Aside from having downs syndrome, Ireland was born with Transient Myeloproliferative Disorder (or TMD). TMD is a very rare pre-leukemia, which means that Ireland immediately began to receive chemo treatments. For ten days, the chemo was given to this brand new baby girl. After ten days, the battle was not over. Ireland then got a very serious intestinal infection called necrotizing enterocolitis (or NEC) which required not only antibiotics, but also additional chemo. After a few days of seemingly getting better, her infection came back and was then put on another seven days of antibiotics.
As of today, Ireland has been illness free and has been on a feeding schedule for nine days; the longest she has been healthy since she was born!
As I said, strength. Above all else, the strength of these families is just incredible. The Driscoll's also have two older children at home. Their ability to juggle home as well as NICU life for their little girl is astonishing. Their love for one another could move mountains, honestly. When I was in that room with them, I felt just how cherished Ireland is and how lucky she is to have such wonderful parents.
NICU babies truly are one of a kind. Each of these newborns has such an empowering story behind their short lives, and already they are fighting harder than most people will ever have to in their lifetime. And the families that stand behind them through the sleepless nights, the constant trips to and from the hospital, and the non-stop emotional toll are incredible.
Thank you so much to the Driscoll family for allowing me into your world and sharing your beautiful baby girl with me. I had such a great time with all of you and cannot wait to hear more about your story!