NewsRadio Savannah introduces you to the Brown family and their Ronald McDonald House Of The Coastal Empire experience:
We are the Brown family from South Georgia, where we live with our two dogs and our sweet Elliette, who we call Ellie. We always had a pretty uneventful life until Miss Ellie came and shook that all up. On January 25, 2019, I was sent by ambulance to Memorial Hospital in Savannah, GA from my doctor’s office. Just 27 weeks into my pregnancy, I had developed severe preeclampsia, a condition in pregnant marked by high blood pressure. When I arrived at Memorial Hospital, I was greeted by a team of doctors who finally got my blood pressure under control but found out my sweet girl wasn’t doing well.
After an ultrasound, they determined she had Intrauterine Growth Restriction (a condition in which a baby doesn't grow to normal weight during pregnancy) and no reverse flow from her umbilical cord. She was tiny – they thought under a pound and the size of a baby 23 weeks into gestation. I made it four more days before they couldn’t wait any longer and we headed to an emergency section. They told us if she wasn’t over a pound, they wouldn’t be able to save her. At 10:06 AM on January 29th, weighing just 1lb 7oz and coming in at 11.5 inches long, our sweet precious girl came into the world fighting.
She almost didn’t make it the first night but proved to everyone she wanted to be here! She fought during her entire 74 day stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Dwaine and Cynthia Willett Children’s Hospital. She overcame medical NEC (a medical condition where a portion of the bowel dies), feeding issues, and lung issues. If it wasn’t for the Memorial Hospital NICU fighting for her and the Ronald McDonald House for giving us a home for Ellie’s entire 74 day stay, our experience could have been a completely different story.
We live 2.5 hours away from Savannah and both work full time jobs. Being at the Ronald McDonald House and so close to my girl made the ugly seem bearable. My husband came multiple times a week back and forth from work and helped us stay together as a family. When she came home, she was on oxygen for three months but, as of today, our sweet girl is 10 months old and adjusted. She’s 11 pounds and hitting all her developmental milestones. She’s the happiest baby and lights up the room when she enters it. She’s been released by all her doctors as of Nov 12th – no more heart specialist, lung specialist, or eye specialist. For the first time in 10 months, we feel like we can finally breathe! We can’t wait to celebrate her first birthday in just 2 short months! What a year it’s been but by His grace WE MADE IT!