Girls Got Guts
Meet Quinn & Hattie, and while I am biased as their mom, they are two of the strongest (and dare I say cutest) little girls around. They (and countless others) are the reason we run this year, in an effort to give back to a place that has meant so much to our family over the years. Both Quinn & Hattie were diagnosed with short bowel syndrome as a result of intestinal atresia in utero. In short, both girls have approximately 50% of their small intestine and their bodies have been left to work in overdrive to try and adapt. While both girls have the same diagnosis, each of their stories is so similar, yet very different.
Quinn was born at 35 weeks and 4 days gestation, presenting as a typical baby until she she started vomiting green bile. After being whisked away from us and transported to NCH, they found she had a possible bowel obstruction. One extremely long surgery later, Quinn had lost around 50% of her small bowel and was labled as short gut. As new parents and novices in the short bowel realm, we were scared. We read, and prayed, and held on to our girl for dear life. Her recovery was remarkable and we left the NICU after just 28 days. We would later find out that 28 days was nothing short or a miracle for the kind of surgery she underwent. Quinn (now at age 3) is thriving, aside from her daily dose of augmentin to help her bowels contract and work as they should, is a pretty typical little girl. She is smart, sweet, and sassiest of them all, a quality that helped her during those early days of life. She is the best big sister and brings so much joy to Hattie. The first year of her life was without a doubt the most challenging year thus far, but she figured things out and continues to amaze us every day.
Hattie at just 7 months is still in that "figuring things out" phase. Born at 35 weeks and 4 days (identical to her big sis) we knew prior to delivery we would be faced with yet another challenge. After spending the majority of my pregnancy knowing there was an issue, Hattie made her debut while stealing the thunder from her cousin Ellie, born just hours later at the same exact hopsital. Hattie presented as a healthy baby but after an abdominal x-ray our suspicion and worst fears became a reaility and once again, Hattie & Matt were transported to NCH. There was a brief comfort in knowing some of the care team that Hattie would have--a few nurses we'd kept in touch with immediately took action to care for our family, Quinn's surgeon jumped on board and our GI team already knew us well. Hattie's surgery may have been even more complex than Quinn's and she came out of it with a g tube placed and concerns for what her body would do to recover as it should. Sure enough, Hattie required not one, but two more surgeries in the coming months and we spent 110 days with her at NCH. I still am not quite sure how any of us survived (or still survive to this day), but one thing is for sure...I owe EVERYTHING to the amazing staff who always had the best interest of my daughter(s) and our family in mind. Today, Hattie is the happiest of babies and her smile is literally electrifying.
While there are enver any guarantees, it is our deepest hope that these girls continue to grow and thrive and this time in their lives will be just a blip in their history. But knowing that we were (and still are) in the care of some of the most wonderfully talented and truly caring professionals at NCH means everything. I often joked with our surgeon that he can never leave Columbus because if our girls ever needed anything surgical again he's the only one we would let operate. There are so many individuals that have left an imprint on our hearts at this hospital and that is something that we don't take lightly. They compell us to want to give back to a place that has given so much to our family. Please consider donating to support countless kids like Quinn & Hattie. Every penny counts!