When a baby comes into the world, it is an exciting time for the parents. However, for some, the experience is overshadowed by life or death decisions, and intensive medical care.
At the Hearts of Gold Walk this weekend, the Blye family will be celebrating their baby's survival and her hope-filled future. Jeff and Jenni Blye have their hands full with a toddler and a baby.
Jenni says, “This is Ada my 3-year-old. And this is Katie Joy our nine-month-old.”
Joy is Katie's middle name for good reason.
“She's just a happier kid than I think the average kid,” Jenni says.
Despite overcoming great odds at the moment of her birth, she was breech, and an ultrasound found hydrocephalus or swelling on the brain. That was just part of the problem.
Jenni says, “They found the hydrocephalus first. And then they pulled her out and they said she has very extreme spina bifida, and I said I don't care. She's alive and that's all I care about. I don't care if she's whatever...she's alive and that's what matters.”
Thankfully, Memorial Children's Hospital was prepared for exactly this kind of emergency.
Jenni adds, “We have a neurosurgeon here that works on children. How lucky...yeah, we were very lucky. Or it would’ve been oh my god go to Riley right now.”
The surgeries saved her life, but she still has challenges. Because of the spina bifida, little Katie Joy is paralyzed from the knees down.
Jenni says, “Cognitively she is a month ahead. But physically she's just a little bit behind.”
Elise Gettleman, her physical therapist, says, “The newest goal that we've been working on is standing. Jenni and I have been talking about that. We're waiting for her to see her orthopedist. So that she can have the ok in order to do that. Because she's very interested right now.”
Jenni says, “She just started crawling so that is a huge milestone for us to reach. We are taking it as a victory and a miracle and in a few months, we are hoping to be standing.”
While Ada loves to play with her little sis, Jenni is just grateful for all the things Katie Joy can do.
Jenni says, “We absolutely believe she'll walk. Absolutely. Maybe she'll jump maybe she'll dance. Life is good no matter what. Even if you can't do those things. We're just happy to have her.”
The Blyes hope that Memorial will be able to welcome more pediatric specialists to town, so that they will not have to make any trips to Indianapolis.
The proceeds from the Hearts of Gold Walk Saturday support programs that will bring specialists to Memorial Hospital.
The Hearts of Gold Walk is at University Park Mall, starting at 7:30 a.m.
You can register online or in person.
Dr. Robert Sweeney and Maureen McFadden are once again the grand marshals.
We will be live at the walk Saturday morning.
Just turn on 16 Saturday morning starting at 7 a.m.