Nothing is quite so traumatic as nearly losing an infant. They are so fragile and depend on us for everything, and when disaster strikes, it can cause the world to come crashing around a family.
Well we just found a story about a British family that nearly lost a precious little one, but she has bounced back and now the family is getting the help they need to carry on. You are going to love this life affirming story.
On her second birthday, little Poppy Smith of Barrow in Cumbria, England suffered hypoxic brain damage. Doctors told the family that she had a very slim chance of surviving, and that even if she did, she would suffer tremendous developmental problems.
Now, nine weeks later, she is crawling and talking more than ever, and her family and doctors are all amazed.
Her father, thirty four year old designer Stephen Smith says it is all thanks to a special moment in the hospital with Poppy’s older sister, twelve year old Macy.
“Macey blew a raspberry on her belly and suddenly Poppy started laughing. We couldn’t believe it. Now we firmly believe Poppy will walk and talk again, as she’s been a fighter since the moment she was born.”
Poppy was born at just twenty nine weeks and weighed only two pounds. She spent her first three months of life in a neonatal ward and was diagnosed with a peculiar condition called Moebius syndrome, which affects facial muscles and can cause difficulties with speaking, swallowing, and other problems.
Doctors told the family that her condition could cause developmental delays, but she began to hit all her milestones, and hopes were raised.
Stephen says “They said that she might not walk or talk, but she started walking at 15 months, which is quite average for a premature baby. It was amazing to see her doing all those things. We managed to get her off her feeding tube around her first birthday and throughout 2016, she was just getting better every day.”
Then in December of 2016, just days before her second birthday, Poppy’s mother, Amy, come into her room to wake her and found her struggling to breathe.
Stephen says “We could feel her heartbeat, but she was unresponsive. We knew there was something seriously wrong. She was breathing but she was sort of gasping for air.”
She was rushed to an area hospital where she was stabilized before being transported to Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
Her father recounts the next harrowing days, saying “Her eyes were starting to roll to the back of her head. A chest x-ray showed that her lungs were full of fluid and she had another respiratory arrest. That night she started to develop twitches and seizures. She was deteriorating fast. When she came back from the scan, doctors took us into a side room and said she had severe hypoxic brain damage. I asked if she was going to walk or talk again, but they said they didn’t even know if she was going to survive. When it started to sink it, it was heartbreaking. They told us we had to wait and see, but it wasn’t looking good. I just wanted them to tell me that she was going to be ok.”
On Christmas Day, the family joined Poppy in the ICU unit, and that is when her big sister decided to blow on her belly. All of a sudden, Poppy giggled.
“It was astonishing. We found out afterwards that it wasn’t uncommon for people in this state to show emotion, but to us it seemed like she was responding. Then there were little twitches on her arms and legs. Doctors said it could be spinal reflexes, but I felt like it was so much more.”
Nine weeks later, and little baby Poppy has once again defied the doctors’ prognoses. Now the family is trying to raise about twelve thousand dollars to have Poppy receive two weeks of therapy at Cosmosuit Rehabilitation Unit in Italy, as they believe they must work quickly to try to help Poppy return to normal.
Stephen concludes by saying “She is still a little bit shaky, but I think she will be able to walk on her own and she’s already come so far. We just want to raise money to try and get her a bit more help and we don’t want to waste any time.”
Have you ever seen such a miracle little fighter? Share your stories with us here.