Ashton. Yes, we named our son well. The name derivation being “town of ash trees.” The strong ash tree is known for being tough and resilient; little did we know how crucial those qualities would quickly become.
As most of the world was getting ready to ring in the New Year, our newborn child was urgently whisked away to the NICU. We were stunned to hear the news that our precious Ashton had CDH and would be facing incredible challenges in the hours ahead, and, if he made it, the years ahead. Being unprepared for his severe condition, the odds of him pulling through even the first few days were slim, but as his name suggests, he overcame those odds; our resilient son pulled through!
Before we were ever able to hold Ashton, they transported him to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston . He underwent his first surgery at only four days of life. During this, the doctors discovered that the hole in his diaphragm (that should protect the heart and lungs from the organs below), was even larger than expected. We were devastated. However, we continued to hold out hope that his lungs would strengthen and continue to grow; and that they did!
Although thankful and joyous for every day that we have with Ashton, it has been an immense challenge for all of us. Traveling to and from Athens to CHOA in Atlanta is a long commute and it’s certainly took its toll and his six-year-old sister, Draya, who was chomping at the bit to have her baby brother come home. We are thrilled to say that Ashton is now home with his family!
Now “talking” and eating like a champ, Ashton strives to keep up with his energetic big sister. He is such a joy. Before we know it, we’ll be celebrating his first birthday. We are thankful for all the support from the caring staff at CHOA, family, friends and the incredible encouragement and assistance we have received from the Fore Hadley Foundation, we are settling into a new norm and looking forward to a bright, healthy future.
About the Fore Hadley Angels in the NICU Fund
Support and proceeds for the Fore Hadley Angels in the NICU Fund will go towards assisting current and future families like Ashton’s, by providing financial contributions to assist families with the costs associated with extended, long distance travel and living arrangements. Costs that are often a must to ensure the proper specialty care for CDH babies.