As we approach the season of Christmas, and even closer still, Thanksgiving in America, I wanted to write this special post about a special little girl. Sidney Gray is the miracle daughter of Mindy & Peter, a gorgeous couple whose wedding we had the honor of shooting back in 2005. Dave & I had a chance to photograph Sidney and learned about her journey and struggle to fight for her life. I left their home feeling inspired by this tiny little fighter and her amazing parents, but also left with a big burden on my heart to pray for this little girl. I want to share her story, written by Mindy, to remind myself of how much there is to be thankful for, and to encourage you to Dream Big, just like Mindy & Peter are doing for little Sidney Gray.
“On October 23, 2008, our little Miracle, Sidney, came into this world seven weeks early. My pregnancy was pretty uneventful and seemed to be going as planned until week 32 when my ankles began to swell and my blood pressure shot up. The doctors hooked me up to monitors and did an ultrasound and found Baby not to be moving as much as they had liked. They then decided to give me an emergency C-section. So Sidney was born at 3 lbs 13oz. They checked her over and everything looked fine when she was admitted into the NICU.
“A week after she was born we went to go see her in the NICU. While holding her, Sydney’s heart rate shot up to over 200 and we sensed there was something wrong. Doctors started her on medication because they thought she might have an infection. They also did an ultrasound on her head and found that she had had a severe brain hemorrhage.
“Sidney started to have seizures. Her sodium and potassium went really low and she had stopped peeing. The doctors had come to us and given us the most devastating news ever: they though she might not make it and if she did, that she would be a baby the rest of her life.
“After spending a month in the NICU they told us to take her home and make her as comfortable as possible. Sidney came home the begining of December …
“So many mixed emotions … I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad, just praying for her to be here for her first Christmas. Celebrating her first Christmas was hard; going into the malls and seeing all the happy parents with there kids thinking why why why ? can’t that be me ….
“Everyday it’s a blessing that she’s here with us. But it’s been a rough journey. In April she had surgery to put a VP shunt in her head to release the pressure in her head, because her head was getting too big. The surgery has been a success so far but the doctors say they’re waiting for a couple years to say it was a success because there’s always a chance of infection and shunt failures. So far so Good!!
“In June she then started to get infantile spasms which is a form of epilepsy. The doctors weren’t surprised because of the type of bleed she had and all the damage that was caused. So she’s on medication for that now and the seizures have been pretty well controlled.
“Sidney still doesn’t feed on her own; she has an NG tube which goes into her nose down to her stomach and just started to take some solids. She’s going into Surgery next week to get a G-tube put into he stomach so we can feed her through there instead of the NG tube in the nose.
“Sidney has just celebrated her first birthday, a day that I thought might not come. She has been such a little fighter!! So far she has proved the Doctors all wrong. There are still alot of hurdles to over come so we take it just one day at a time and keep strong in our faith in God because He is the only one that can get us through this.”
~Mindy & Peter
Thank you, Mindy & Peter, for letting us into your lives and for sharing the precious gift of Sydney with us.
You’ll always have a place in our hearts …. and our prayers.
Your friends always,
quin & dave