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The Incredible Story of 

Emersyn Harper 

We were so excited when we found out our lives were being blessed with a baby girl. Immediately, thoughts danced in our heads of what her nursery would look like, picking out the perfect name and of course meeting her for the first time.

 

Like most parents, we envisioned a perfectly pink baby being placed on my chest, cuddles with her big brother and going home the next day.

 

Emersyn Grey was born on June 2, 2013, nearly 3 months before her due date. I barely got a glimpse of her as she was immediately handed over to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) team. She struggled to let out a cry, then went limp and turned blue. I watched as the respiratory therapist intubated my tiny 3lb. 9oz baby. Being born so early, her lungs were underdeveloped and she could not breathe on her own. They whisked her away to the NICU where she was placed on a ventilator. This machine literally breathed life into her.

 

I was finally allowed to see her about two hours after she was born. She was covered with wires and tubes, and too fragile for me to hold her, but she was beautiful. She stayed on the ventilator for three days as her body adjusted to being on the outside world. It allowed her to rest and stabilize as it did the breathing for her. It was such a scary time for us because we did not know if she would recover.

Her strength amazes us every day and we could not be more thankful to have her in our lives.

Emersyn developed feeding problems where she couldn’t eat or keep down any of the nutrients she was receiving. Instead of gaining weight and working towards heading home, she was headed in the opposite direction. After many tests, x-rays, abdominal ultrasounds and feeding trials, the decision was made to transfer her to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital (LLUCH). It was terrifying and emotional experience to see your baby transported by ambulance, but I knew she

was going to be in good hands.

 

After arriving at LLUCH, they determined she would need surgery to correct a condition known as Pyloric Stenosis. The muscle connecting her stomach to her small intestines had become thickened and didn’t allow food to exit her stomach. Although we were very nervous for her to go into surgery, we felt confident in the doctors and surgical team. They were ready to answer any questions we had, talk us through step by step of what would happen during surgery day and what

we should expect afterwards. It really helped to put our mind and hearts at ease. Once again, she was intubated and put on a ventilator for the procedure, but she was able to come off of it while in recovery.

 

After a 91-day NICU stay, Emersyn finally came home. It was such a joyous day for our family.

Today she is a happy and healthy one year old. Her strength amazes us every day and we could

not be more thankful to have her in our lives.

 

Tierra Harper

Emersyn's Mother

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