My story through the eye’s of my parents

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Great things come in small packages.

Her smile could light up a room, her laughter was young and new

Her passion for GOD is the color of the sky, her love is endless and alive.

Her beauty comes from within the heart.  It fills the room like the finest of art.

Her eyes always glowing and her love for music flowing.

Her voice was soft as the simplest of prose, so velvety and smooth like the petal of a rose.

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this story was written for my senior year final in English class not all the informtaion is upto todays information: I felt it was an important story to share!

My name is Jennifer Rose, I’m now twenty-eight years old, happily married 6months ago to the love of my life.  We have started our new life and hope to have children one day, but my start to life wasn’t that promising in the beginning. Here’s how the story goes.

Once upon a time, there were these two people, named Gary and Jane, who were very much in love with each other.  They married at the local Catholic Church, where they shared this beautiful day with Gary’s sister and fiancé.  It’s kind of cool to have the same anniversary.  About two years later, they decided to start a family.  Their first born was a boy, they named Stephen Arthur, two very strong names.  Their son made them very happy, but they wanted to have one more child. About three years later, they had a daughter and named her Jennifer Rose, named after family members on both sides of the family.  It was important to have names special to them and their families.

Jennifer and Stephen got along fine, as most siblings do.  Stephen was very proud of his new little sister.  He would hold her and talk to her, and even share his toys with her, on occasion. Things changed very quickly one late night for Stephen and his newly born sister.139

One evening, eleven days later, Jennifer seemed very restless in her crib.  She was fidgeting around trying to nestle into the corner of her crib.  Her little arms and legs were moving all over the place.  Jane thought something was wrong.  Gary said, “She’s okay, she’ll settle down.”  Jane was not satisfied, “She just sounds so…” She took her temperature and was shocked that it was 104 degrees.  She immediately called the doctor. They told her to try and cool her body down with cold water.  And this begins the horror of the story.

Gary called his parents who didn’t live that far away from their house.  Papa stayed with Gary and Stephen while Mamaw and Jane took Jennifer to the emergency room.  The doctor said he would call ahead to make sure the hospital doctors were aware of the situation.  Jane was fairly calm, although she was probably in shock.  She does remember honking the horn as she ran some red lights to the hospital.  Jennifer would not let go of Mamaw; she was clutching her blouse with her little hands, not about to let go.  So the doctors tended to her in her arms.  They took blood and her vitals, which was hard for them to watch since Jennifer was so small and her veins were hard to find.  They finally took blood from her foot, but still needed to do more testing.  The doctors told Jane that the chances of Jennifer surviving were not good.   At this point, she called Gary and told him what the doctors had said. The words were “the mortality rate is very high”. Jane told Gary that she didn’t know what that word meant but wanted to know if Jennifer was going to die.  Gary comforted her and told her he was coming to the hospital.

In the meantime, Jennifer had been taken for more testing, spinal taps, and more blood work.  Jane and Mamaw were not allowed to come with Jennifer for the tests, so they waited for Gary to arrive.  Again, you must remember that Jennifer was only eleven days old.  The doctors came out and before he could speak, Jane asked if Jennifer was going to die.  With a heavy sigh, the doctors said “The mortality rate in infants this young is very high. If you had waited 24 more hours, Jennifer would not have made it”.  You see, the fluid from Bacterial Meningitis is an infection in the person’s spinal cord and this fluid surrounds the brain.  People sometimes refer to it as spinal meningitis.  Meningitis is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection.  Knowing whether meningitis is caused by a virus or bacterium is important because the severity of the illness and treatments differ.  (www.health.gatech.edu/main/3_news/baccterials_meningtis.pho 9/25/2005).  Jennifer’s condition was caught before the bacterial fluid could reach her brain.  They started antibiotics immediately on her.  She still could have learning disabilities and other health issues down the road.

Jennifer remained in acute infant care for the next two weeks.  Jane came to visit her every day to feed and hold her and sing her lullabies and nursery rhymes.   She talked and comforted her small child through the incubator with IV’s in her head; while her little hands were in restraints so she wouldn’t pull the IV out.  The nurses said that she was very strong and was a fighter because she had started taking formula only two days after being admitted to the hospital.  Jane and Gary spent their wedding anniversary holding Jennifer in the hospital, along with her Aunt and Uncle.

The next two weeks went by very slowly.  It seemed like her getting better was taking too long.  Were there going to be complications down the road for Jennifer?  Gary and Jane were very tired, but the day finally came when they could take Jennifer home.  She had lost more weight and it was like bringing her home for the first time again.  Her first outfit was too big, so they had to buy a preemie size.  Stephen, as well as the entire family, were very happy that Jennifer had survived this horror.

Jennifer has proven to be a very strong and vital part of the family.  It’s not known if the outcome were different, whether Gary and Jane would have tried to have another baby or not.  It’s devastating when a family loses a child or any family member.  She still faces some of the challenges every day.  She has to live with the fact that she will never be able to take back that part of her life and be a normal kid or have a normal childhood, this is something she will have to live with for the rest of her life.  Jennifer thinks every day how thankful she is for her mom’s 6th sense and for the doctors in Houston, Texas, that saved her life.  She is a very strong-willed child that shows that any kid with a disability can get through it and fight as hard as they can to overcome the obstacles.

This happened to me in 1987, eleven days after I was born.  As I read this story again, I can’t imagine any of the thoughts and emotions that my parents, grandparents and other family members went through.  I did have some difficult times in school not knowing why it was so hard for me to understand the teachers and grasp the words and lessons being taught.  My parents decided to take me out of the private school setting and after getting testing within the public schools, my life turned around.  I’ve always been some kind of a “shorty” girl, but my Mom says it’s ok, short girls are cute.

I finished twelve years of education, I was in the regional mixed and girls’ choir and played in the handbell choir, along with all the other required core subjects.  I wasn’t involved in any sports or club organizations in high school.  I helped my Mom with several programs she ran at our church and sang in the youth choir.  I worked during the summer as a camp leader where I met new friends and had the opportunity to share my faith with the campers.  I have many friends and family to thank for their support through my early days and throughout my present life.  I went on to complete my Associate Degree in “Web design and development technology”, taking all my classes online and working a full-time position at a small computer technology company.  I presently work at a small oil and gas company where I am the Office and Accounting Manager.  I handle all the accounting, financing, human resources, and general office duties.  My husband, I just moved into our first home and are anxious to start our own family.

Thank you for allowing me to share this “happily ever after story” with your readers.  Like my pediatrician said to my Mom on why I had the Meningitis, he simply said, “It was her turn”, not that, that was a very comforting response but it confirms that we are not the ones in charge of our lives, that there is a much bigger being out there taking care of us and the future.  I hope this story gives your readers the hope and courage to realize that “you are the one that can make a difference in your own life; don’t waste it.”

We submitted this story to the Good Housekeeping/ Silverlining contest in 2015.

I will leave you with this: My dads speech at our wedding! Touches my heart ever single day!

 

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