My journey into this world

When I was born, I came into this world fast and furious. I was born in a blizzard in upstate New York, December 7th 1966. My Mother and Father barely made it to the hospital. I was small, only 5 lbs & 2 oz.

Two weeks after my birth, I was rushed to the hospital, my airways were choked with thick mucus, not breathing. The Doctors barely revived me by injecting Adrenaline into my heart. I went home with my parents and two days later, I was rushed back to the hospital again. This scenario would repeat itself several times, with me going into cardiac arrest at least four more times. On two occasions , there was no heartbeat or brain wave activity. I had clinically died.

The situation was so grave, the Doctors and Nurses informed my parents they needed to prepare for my death and make final arrangements. The attending Doctor called in a Priest. All the Nurses and Doctors on the floor had gathered around my incubator where the priest and my parents stood. I remember my mother telling me, He was a really tall man. His hands were so large, I was so small, I fit neatly into the palm of his hand. The room was packed with people, nurses, doctors and family. My Dad told me everyone there was crying and they all prayed as the tall priest baptized me.

At this time, they still had no idea what was wrong with me. They called in a specialist from another hospital in New York. The new Doctor suggested they remove me from the incubator and allow my mother to live in the room with me, hold me and feed me. At least until they could determine what was wrong with me. This saved my life. I was not only suffering from some unknown disease, but I was suffering from a failure to thrive, due to lack of human contact.

A week or so later, they finally discovered I had contracted pertussis, probably from my sister or uncle. All together I spent almost the first 6 months of my life in the hospital. I fought tooth and nail to be here. With the love of my Mother, the support of my Father, a determined staff and a young female Pediatrician from upstate New York, I was the only baby to survive pertusis in New York that year.

I am grateful for everyday, even the really crappy, horrible, I don't want to get out of bed days. I feel blessed by the Universe - I am glad to be alive, here in this time.