What do you see when you look at my daughter?
Do you see a child who happens to be on a ventilator or a child that cannot walk or talk, or do you see a potential new friend?
I personally hope it's the latter instead of the former.
I mean, it's not Delilah's fault that she was born the way it is. It just ... happened. And I happen to think she's wonderful!
Delilah Grace was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. Her face was blue and she wasn't breathing. Doctors frantically cut the cord from around her neck; by the time they got Delilah breathing again, precious time had already passed. Doctors were fearful that the baby had sustained severe brain damage: Delilah Grace wasn't responding as well to tests as well as they hoped she would.
It was the worst possible news we could have ever faced as her parents.
By the time she was one year old, Delilah was diagnosed as having cerebral palsy. She also had a tracheostomy performed: the child had no ability to cough, chew, or even swallow; she was prone to getting pneumonia which could possibly kill her. She was also placed on a ventilator because Delilah had spells of apnea, or absence of breathing.
We not only had to get used to the fact that our child would never walk: she would never talk or do much of anything: there was just too much in the way of damage to her brain. She had been without oxygen for over 10 minutes, which meant possible significant brain damage.
We would have to purchase expensive medical equipment (wheelchair with supports, ventilator, oxygen tanks, etc.) in order to keep Delilah alive.
Delilah Grace is now seven years of age and has amazed everybody with her will to live. She brings out the best in people and everyone who meets her in person can't help but falling in love with her.
Caring for such a needy child has been extremely tough at times, but as time goes on, we find it easier and easier, especially since I (her mother) am her primary caregiver. We have had nurses in the past, but some proved to be very incompetant and I felt that I could provide better care to my daughter, so I am now her number one caregiver.
Seems strange now whenever I reflect on this, but Delilah has spent less time in the hospital and has been in much better health! I don't know why this is, but it's true . And I thank God for it, too!
I thank God every day for Delilah Grace. I simply cannot imagine my life without her!