This story pays tribute to Baby Melanie. She has more than earned her Tiny Light status and her story is proof to us all that life is precious and can be much too short. This sweet girl was so very loved by her amazing parents, big sister, extended family, and their many friends. Her Tiny Light memory will live on.
A routine ultrasound during Melanie’s mom’s pregnancy showed that her second child had an AVSD. The weeks after birth were a struggle but they were finally able to put some weight on baby Melanie to prepare her for surgery. After her surgery, her recovery went more smoothly than anyone had expected.
One month after the heart surgery, Melanie became very ill. She was flown to Children’s Hospital after an infection was found in the right upper lobe of her lung. The assumption was pneumonia but the infection disease team could not prove this. She was having seizures and her liver and kidneys had begun to fail. Next they found that the pulmonary veins leaving her lungs and returning to her heart were narrowing. Should the procedure to expand her veins to allow better circulation be unsuccessful, the only other option would be a heart and lung transplant. Of course at only a few months old, Melanie was much too small and young for these transplants.
Doctors had no explanation as to why her body did what it did. Melanie’s parents’ greatest fear was having to say goodbye to their sweet baby. It is a fear they have now had to face. Melanie continued to fight right up until the very end, which came on May 28. She was tiny but strong. Her Tiny Light photos show the strength in her big beautiful eyes. Her parents were holding onto hope that Melanie would be “given a chance to live, experience life, make right and wrong decisions, and to love”.
Melanie spent time with her relatives to be close to Children’s Hospital near the end of her life. It was eventually determined that she would be able to go home. Her parents and big sister were thrilled to have the chance to bring their baby home.
Melanie passed away on May 28. We have few details and wish to give the family privacy, along with our prayers, positive thoughts, and wishes. We will continue to keep this Tiny Light close to our hearts.
A beautiful slide show of Melanie's session with our "Tiny Light" song can be view [here]
Story by Angela Stephen-Dewhurst
Images Captured by In View Images - Photography by Oliver Rathonyi - Reuszz