For Brandy and Rusty Yates, December 2011 was filled with both joy and sorrow.
After an emergency C-section, their twin daughters, Tyler and Bailey, were born at 26 weeks - each weighing little more than a pound. Sadly, Bailey developed an infection that her tiny body couldn’t overcome, and she passed away 15 days later. While the family was still grieving the loss of Bailey, Tyler was transferred to Batson Children’s Hospital where she would undergo surgery and spend 120 days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
While in NICU, we had several scares when she developed an unknown infection causing her to flatline in front of us. The doctors and nurses stepped in immediately and brought our baby girl back to us. Due to her extreme prematurity, she was considered a micro-preemie. With that comes higher risks for lasting conditions. Due to lack of oxygen or traumatic/early birth or a combination of it all (we will never know), she developed a type of brain injury called Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL). This caused her to develop cerebral palsy with dystonia. She also has a mild case of optic atrophy. She did develop chronic lung disease due to amount of oxygen she required, but that has since resolved.
When she was released from the NICU, she was followed by several specialists - pulmonary, neurology, orthopedic, ophthalmology, and general (for NICU follow-ups). She continues to follow-up with some of these on a yearly basis.
In May 2019, we did have an experience with the emergency room, which required an overnight stay (our 1st since being released from the NICU). She was severely constipated (we still pray for poop 8 years later) and had a syncopal episode at school. She passed out and her blood pressure and breathing slowed due to the amount of pain she was in. The school called the ambulance, which brought her straight to Batson. She was admitted overnight to help relieve her blockage. Every doctor/nurse/staff we have seen at Batson, whether it was in the NICU or the emergency room have been nothing short of amazing. Everyone at Batson has helped our little girl not only survive, but thrive. Yes, she has permanent conditions, but overall she is a happy and healthy little girl who can light up a room with her smile and laugh. I will never be able to repay Batson for all they have done for our family.
Tyler’s doctors have made such a profound impression on her it’s no surprise she wants to be one when she grows up. When she’s not “playing doctor” with her baby dolls, Tyler loves to learn new things, sing, dance and play with her friends.
This or That: TYLER edition
Favorite Song: ChaCha Slide
Favorite TV Show: Doc McStuffins
Favorite Food: Pancakes, eggs, and bacon
Favorite Color: Yellow and purple
Favorite Activity: Wheelchair basketball, cheerleading, and swimming
Dream Job: Teacher or pediatrician