Savannah {left} & Sammantha {right}
Senior Pics May 2011

My twin sister and were born at around 30 weeks gestation making us around ten weeks premature. Each of us weighing just over 3 lbs a piece, she 3lbs. 2oz and I 3lbs. 5oz at birth. Each of us seemed to be going through the typical preemie things until the medical staff started trying to pull me off of the ventilator expecting me to breathe on my own, and
I would for a short time, but then I would struggle once again. The medical team was stumped. And so, after finding out their MRI machine was down, the staff at Washshoe Medical Center, Reno Nevada, had no choice but to fly me by helicopter to UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco, California. That is where it was discovered that I had an extremely rare heart defect known as a double aortic arch wrapped around my windpipe. So, the decision was made to correct the defect. At 26 days old I had the surgery to correct it and it was successful!

But because of having lost so much blood and having to have it replenished, I came outta the OR weighing a shocking 1 lb. 9oz! weeks later my parents brought home their tiny miracle to be with her sister Savannah. Who had been home for several weeks before I was released from NICU.



Me at 9 mos old around the time I was  diagnosed
with Cerebral palsy
 11 mos old
Both small enough to share a park swing.
Sammantha {left} Savannah {right}

Months later my sister was hitting all milestones while I was slower going. Our parents were growing more concerned. So, they began taking me to specialists. They ran tests of all kinds including ones for MD, which to their relief were negative.

Anyways, to make a very long story short, when I was ten months old, my parents and grandparents finally got the answer they were searching for. “Your daughter has Cerebral palsy” the orthopedist said. Of course, my parents (like any parents would), asked what he thought this meant for me. His answer, something like “she’ll probably never walk, sit up on her own, or feed herself.” My grandpa, who was with us, was so angered by the doctor’s prognosis, he scooped me up and walked out. Telling me that I will walk if I want to. Alright grandpa!

To date, I use a power wheelchair to get around. I keep up with my PT in hopes of walking someday. I continue to defy the odds set before me when I was first diagnosed. I have one person thank for my successes and that is Christ. Because without Him I wouldn’t be here today.