This month, we are featuring our awesome Miracle Kids, The Slades Triplets! Isabelle, Gracie, and Emma were born almost 15 weeks early each weighing under two pounds at birth. All three have been receiving care at Piedmont Columbus Regional since the day they were born. Since then, they have grown into energetic and social 8-year-olds we see at Main Event each year. View our Q&A with the girl’s mom, Shannon, to read what makes these Miracle Kids so special!
“We found out early there were multiples and the pregnancy went well until 20 weeks when my blood pressure started increasing. I was placed on home bed rest at 24 weeks but my blood pressure continue to increase so as a result I was admitted into the hospital at 25 weeks. Several days later, on September 4th, 2011, during routine daily doctor rounds I informed the doctor of my blurred vision. The doctor was highly concerned and the decision was made to deliver the girls that day due to the risk of my health.”
Isabelle’s Miracle Story:“Isabelle was the first to be born on September 4th, 2011 nearly 15 weeks premature weighing 1 lb 14 oz. She was rushed to the neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) until at Piedmont Columbus Regional where a team of doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapist would be a part of her care for a total of 102 days. While in the NICU, each day was a new challenge for Isabelle that would require multiple surgeries and procedures. When Isabel was just a few days old she developed a brain hemorrhage. The hemorrhage soon resolved but caused the blockage resulting in excess fluid buildup in her head called hydrocephalus. This required Isabelle to have it shunt placed in her head to drain the excess fluid. Isabelle also develop stage 3 retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) caused by increased oxygen levels due to her underdeveloped lungs at birth. This required her to be transported to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to receive the laser eye surgery and transported back to Piedmont Columbus Regional on the same day. Her eyes have recovered from the surgery and she requires eye glasses but continues with her regular eye visits. Due to hydrocephalus, Isabelle has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy affecting her left side of her body. She continues to improve with her regular physical therapy and occupational therapy visits. She has also had injection procedures to assist with her increased muscle tone and movement as she grows. Due to Isabella’s diagnosis she was delayed in several milestones like crawling, walking, and riding a tricycle but she has made great strides in spite of being nearly 15 weeks premature. Today, Isabel is a typical eight-year-old who loves making Loom jewelry, writing, and drawing. She is also involved in drama kids and gymnastics. “
Gracie’s Miracle Story:“Gracie was second to be born weighing 1 lb 6 oz. She was rushed to the neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Piedmont Columbus Regional where a team of doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapist would be a part of her care for a total of 95 days. While in the NICU, each day was a new challenge for Gracie. A week after Gracie was born she developed sepsis and her body began shutting down. We received an urgent phone call from the neonatologist of Gracie’s condition and we rush back to the hospital. We sat by her bedside throughout the night. We thought we would lose her but the NICU staff work diligently throughout the night and the days ahead for her recovery. Gracie was diagnosed with chronic lung disease so she came home on oxygen until her lungs were strong enough not to require oxygen. When she was 8 months old, Gracie required hernia repair surgery at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta but she quickly recovered. She has since been hospitalized for bronchitis at Piedmont Columbus Regional but has quickly improved as she’s gotten older. Due to Gracie’s diagnosis, she has overcome so much and has made great strides in spite of being nearly 15 weeks premature. Today, Gracie is a typical 8 year old who loves playing with her barbies, reading, and drawing. She is also involved in drama kids and gymnastics.”
Emma’s Miracle Story:“Emma was third to be born weighing only 1 lb 2 Oz. she was rushed to the neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Piedmont Columbus Regional where a team of doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists would be a part of her care for a total of 95 days. Just before delivery, we met with a neonatologist because of his concern of Emma’s estimated size. We were unsure if she would be big enough for a breathing tube after delivery. We needed to make a decision on our best wishes for her if she was too small for a breathing tube. this was the most difficult conversation and decision of our lives. After delivery, we were blessed to find out Emma was bigger than estimated but she was still so tiny and fragile. While in the NICU, each day was a new challenge for Emma. Emma had a number of issues with her blood sugar as well as managing her oxygen levels. Emma was diagnosed with chronic lung disease so she came home on oxygen until her lungs were strong enough to not require oxygen. The least bit of a cold can lead to respiratory issues and possible serious complications. Emma has made great strides in spite of being nearly 15 weeks premature. She has been the first on several milestones such as eating baby food, walking, and talking. Today, Emma is a typical 8 year old who loves playing with her Barbies, reading, and art. She is also involved in drama kids and gymnastics.”
What does AUDM mean to you and your family?“Thank you Auburn dance Marathon for what you do for Piedmont Columbus Regional and thank you for what you mean to our family! Isabelle, Gracie, and Emma love participating in dance marathon and other events throughout the year and getting to know such a wonderful group of people!”
What are the girls favorite activity/hobby they like to do for fun?
Isabelle- Art and making loom bracelets
Gracie- making videos and reading
Emma- Art and playing mind craft
Do they have a favorite tv show or movie?
Isabelle- Movie, Mary Poppins Returns
Gracie- Movie, Descendants Movies & Tv Show PJ masks
Emma- Movie, Descendants Movies & Tv Show Vampirina
Do they have a favorite disney princess?
Gracie- Aurora & Jasmine
What are the girls favorite memory from Dance Marathon?
Isabelle- Dancing and telling our story
Gracie- Silent Disco and Talent Show
Emma-Bouncy house and Silent Disco
Courtesy of Shannon Slade