Miracle Mum, Debra shares Sam and Allison's story.
“My journey to pregnancy was a long and stressful path. I suffered multiple early miscarriages beginning at age 32. We went through all the invasive and painful fertility treatments available.
After finally getting pregnant through IVF, I experienced HELLP Syndrome and was forced to have an emergency C-section at 26 weeks. Sam weighed 822 grams (1 lb. 13 oz.). Sam was in the NICU for just over 3 months. Sam’s twin sister, Allison, became an angel 11 days after birth from NEC. Walking back into the hospital every day after was a struggle. I had just lost a baby, but still had one fighting for his life in the NICU. They moved Sam to a different room to try to make it easier. I remember closing my eyes when I walked past the room where I saw her breathe her last breath.
Sam turned 13 on June 14th and is doing amazingly well! He is currently battling juvenile arthritis, but he’s a tough little ray of light.
The NICU can be an extremely scary place and the uncertainty of having a child so vulnerable is something that a lot of parents struggle with.”
Debra is from the USA and used her experience to write a children’s book called ‘Sammie the Salmon’, a story about a salmon that was born very early and goes through all the same experiences as babies born prematurely.
"I wrote our book when I was realising I had to let go of my protected 26 weeker sweetie and let him become himself. I say “our book” because it’s a tribute to Sam and the fighter in him. He doesn’t remember that fight, but his family does.
I was headed back to work as a special ed teacher, after staying home with our preemie for two years, when the words for the story flowed out of me. The whole experience was rough but, we have a beautiful son who we cherish everyday for all he is.
I made this book to give hope to all the families that are currently fighting for their little miracles and because Sam deserved a story. To see his smile and him being proud because of it – is beyond words.
Sammie the Salmon offers a ray of positive hope for other families that experience the NICU and premature birth. Good things can happen and our awesome Sam is proof of that! My hope is to give encouragement to other families through our story of love. To be able to share our experience in a positive way is a blessing from God.”
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