Baby Willow is nothing short of a miracle from God with a guardian angel surely watching over her.
Born with a will to survive and a fighter spirit, Baby Willow came into this world 3 months too soon.
Little did her parents know then but there would be a 97 day hospital journey to save this baby’s life.
IT’S A GIRL
On Sept. 29, 2021 James and Charity Taylor from Rogersville learned they were going to become parents. They were excited to welcome this child. A gender reveal party was held on October 31 and the announcement was made: It’s a girl.
Everything seemed normal up until the 28th week of pregnancy when Charity noticed her hands going numb. On March the 18th Charity went to Indian Path Hospital for very high blood pressure. She was transferred to Niswonger children’s hospital in Johnson City. For the next six days Charity was monitored for blood pressure, given 2400 ml of blood pressure lowering medicine and bed rest.
AN UNEXPECTED BIRTH
On the morning of March 19 Charity was told she would be skipping breakfast because there was going to be a birthday party in one hour and 20 minutes. Baby Willow was coming at just 6 months of development in the womb weighing in at only 1 lb 14 oz.
Charity did her best to stay calm and not show panic for the sake of her family.
“I was in shock but I kind of kept my cool because I knew if I got all torn up it would be worse for Baby Willow,” Charity said. “My sister Face-Timed me crying but I told her it would be alright. My Dad’s boss is Wes Manis and he sent me a long text telling me I was family and all would be well.”
With a C-Section scheduled, “Baby Willow arrived and went to the NICU. The hospital had a lock down issue and I couldn’t see her until that evening but my parents got a glimpse of her going down the hallway.”
Baby Willow was tiny and she had a swollen stomach requiring bowel surgery and a colostomy bag on May 16. Baby Willow’s grandparents finally got to hold her for the first time April 17 after her colostomy bag was removed the day before.
A TURN FOR THE WORSE
On May 29, Baby Willow was able to drink her first full bottle fed to her by Mom. She seemed to be making good progress and they expected Baby Willow to go home with her parents soon.
However, on June 10 a nurse practitioner measured the baby’s head and found something very wrong. The news was not good. Baby Willow’s head was swollen. There was pressure on her brain.
Rushed to Nashville by The Angel Ambulance for children, Baby Willow arrived June 13 at Vanderbuilt Hospital. On June 15 Baby Willow had brain surgery to receive a shunt.
This type of surgery was risky for any baby but a premature baby especially, but it was necessary for Baby Willow in order to have a chance to survive.
“I had to hold myself together,” Charity said.
The family all came in support of James, Charity and prayers for Baby Willow to survive. Prayers were answered and Baby Willow did quite well in surgery. Two hours later Charity was holding her.
Charity added, “That’s when everything went calm and I knew everything would be alright But I was not allowed to stay past 4pm each day and I admit I left crying many days. It’s hard to leave your child in the hospital without you.”
Baby Willow stayed in the hospital for a total of 97 days. “I had held myself together not knowing if my baby was going to survive but she is a fighter. I didn’t know if she was going to make it but I prayed and prayed.” Baby Willow survived.
At long last on June 22nd Baby Willow went home.
How is Baby Willow today? She is still tiny at 6 months of age weighing around 9lbs. But she is catching up on her milestones quickly. She is cutting teeth and trying to crawl.
In fact, Baby Willow is meeting milestones faster than expected. She is not expected to have further surgeries as the shunt will not need to be replaced as she grows. She is a perfect bright eyed baby.
During the time her brain had swelled Baby Willow wasn’t opening her eyes as much due to pain. But today Baby Willow loves bright lights. Her grandfather owns a dump truck and Baby Willow likes to ride.
She seems to have a fascination with trucks now, perhaps because of her dump truck rides or perhaps she likes the bright shiny colors. Charity says she loves tictok videos with trucks. Therefore, Baby Willow will be attending her first truck show in Mayberry on Sept. 29.
A GUARDIAN ANGEL
Charity says there was an angel watching over Baby Willow. Charity believes that the angel was her Grandfather. Charity and her Grandfather were very close. In coincidence, Baby Willow just happened to be born on the exact date and exact time, March 19 at exactly 11:41 a.m., exactly 13 years past Charity’s grandfather’s passing.