Heather and Michael’s second pregnancy in 2008 had been fairly normal; nothing had been flagged as worrisome as the due date arrived. Within minutes of giving birth to baby Lilly, however, both Michael and Heather knew something was wrong. That first hour proved to be critical. The infant was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and taken into surgery; Lilly had a severely blocked bowel that led to the removal of a part of her small intestine—a procedure that, according to doctors, she shouldn’t have survived.
A Scary Diagnosis
After evaluating the circumstances and symptoms, experts determined that Lilly had Cystic Fibrosis, a lung disease that affects the digestive system as well as other organs. Lilly spent her first nine weeks in the NICU and endured another four surgeries. Even today, she undergoes hours of daily breathing treatments and takes several medications. Additionally, she still has regular Cystic Fibrosis checkups at least every three months. Her daily treatments will be a constant in her life, but luckily, so will CaringBridge.
Lilly’s journey has inspired others within her community. “I had met some new families from my son’s school and a couple of them read a lot of Lilly’s past Journal entries on CaringBridge,” Heather remembers. “Independently, both came up to me and told me how my positivity during this trial was encouraging to them. That meant so much to me and I hope one day Lilly can look back at my entries and people’s messages to her and be encouraged herself and see how far she’s come!”
A Full and Wonderful Life
Although Lilly lives with Cystic Fibrosis every day, it hasn’t slowed her down. Today, Lilly lives a full life—swimming with her brother at the pool, playing dress-up, going on pony rides and just being a five-year-old. Cystic Fibrosis hasn’t stopped Lilly or her family from enjoying the world.
Lilly has a long journey ahead of her but she doesn’t let it define who she is. Lilly takes on each new day with a positive attitude and a desire to live life to the fullest. Heather affectionately says, “Lilly is a fighter and takes everything in stride! Most adults couldn’t handle what she does on a daily basis but she does and has a smile and laugh that will melt your heart!”
Thank you for supporting families like Lilly’s–and a special thanks to donors whose gifts keep CaringBridge websites available. Read other inspiring stories.
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