Meet Our Terrific Kid

Two years ago today, Blakelyn was fighting for her life in the Mercy NICU. Blakelyn stayed in the NICU for 30 days while her lungs properly developed and her heart rate stabilized. This tough cookie found hard with her parents just a heartbeat away and just celebrated her second birthday! She's full of energy, loves gymnastics, and is truly a terrific kid! In celebration of Terrific Kid Day, we would like to share her family's story. 

It seemed like a dream come true, at first. Emma and Blake were thrilled to be expecting their first baby, and Emma's pregnancy was an easy, happy time for both of them. 

But suddenly, she says, their whole world turned upside down. 

Emma began to experience severe pain. Worried, she decided to go see her doctor. She was shocked when she found out she was ready to deliver--at 32 weeks. 

"I couldn't believe what was happening," she says. 

Her daughter, Blakelyn Dawn, was born soon after, weighing less than five pounds. "She was perfect," Emma remembers. "As soon as I heard that first cry, I feel in love." 

Emma only got to kiss Blakelyn's tiny cheek before the baby was whisked away to the NICU in a separate hospital, where she was fighting for her life. Her lungs were underdeveloped and her heart rate kept dropping. The next time Emma and Blake got to see her, she was hooked up to wires and tubes in an incubator. 

"It hurts my heart so much to see her like that," Emma says. "My mind and emotions were racing." 

Emma couldn't bear to be away from her baby. But thanks to you, she didn't have to be. The Family Room was there for her. 

"The Family Room was my safe haven, my home away from home, my blessing," Emma says. 

She stayed there for the next 30 days to be close to Blakelyn while she was fighting. And Emma says Blakelyn's first 30 days had many ups and downs. "It was a true roller-coaster of good and bad days. It was one of the hardest times Blake and I ever experienced. But we made it," she says. And she credits her time in the Family Room as one of the main reasons why. 

"I was so overwhelmed, but knowing that I could just be close to my daughter made all the difference in the world.," Emma says. 

Emma and Blake are so proud of all of the progress Blakelyn made and how well she's doing now, two years later. She's full of life  and lots of fun! And we're thrilled to celebrate her as our terrific kid! 

We want to celebrate all those terrific kids that have fought for their lives, so if you know a terrific kid, share their story on the comments below!