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Amanda's Friends

Welcome to Morgan's Page


Morgan Kathleen Ownby was due October 16, 2001, but she was born October 20, 2001. She is my first child, and when she was born, I knew right away that something was wrong. The whole atmosphere in the delivery room had changed. Morgan wasn't breathing. Before I knew it, a large group of people had rushed into my room and surrounded Morgan. It was the NICU team. They told me Morgan was having trouble breathing on her own, and they were going to have to help her. The first time I got to see my daughter, she had a tube taped to her mouth, and a little pink hat on her head as she was wheeled past me and out of the delivery room. She had her left arm raised up in a fist when I first saw her, she was a fighter right from the start. The doctor's weren't sure what was going on when Morgan was first admitted into the NICU. They thought she was having seizures and right away put her on Phenobarbital. They did an EEG, a CAT scan and an MRI. The news wasn't very good. She had brain damage, but the amount was hard to tell. They told us that Morgan would not make it through the night. I felt like my heart was breaking. There in the isolette was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. She had peach fuzz brown hair, and a face almost identical to my own. I held her hand, and not one time did she open her eyes. She had huge gashes on the crown of her head, and a large, deep cut on her scalp. The doctor's and nurses eventually had to chase me and my husband, Matt away from the NICU to do shift change. All day long family and friends came to visit Morgan, two at a time as was allowed. The  Neonatologist came into my recovery room to tell us once again that the news wasn't good. Her EEG came back, and it was virtually a flat line. Two days later, we had a meeting, and the doctor's told us that Morgan had no improved, Morgan was three days old, and I still hadn't been able to hold her. That night I went home and sat in the purple room that had been created just for her, and held onto her "mommy womb" bear and cried like my heart was breaking. I knew I had to be strong, but the pain was so real, I didn't know how I could keep going. On the fourth day, Morgan had a miraculous change, she was breathing over her respirator and a new EEG showed spikes in the waves. The doctor's told us it would be probably about six months before she would be able to leave the NICU, but my heart soared. My baby was going to come home. On the eighth day in the NICU, my mom and I went to visit Morgan, and she was gone. Panic set in, but then we were told she had been moved into the nursery, she would be able to go home the next day. I think that at that time, I thought that Morgan would need physical therapy, she had hypertonia, but other than that, I thought she would be okay. Morgan came home the day before Halloween.

The next couple of weeks were doctor's visit's after doctor's visits. We had another EEG, that showed improvement. Her pediatrician thought she was doing much better, and the Neonatologist thought she might come out of the "ordeal" with mild damage. We had an MRI done, and the results were devastating. The left half of her brain was liquid, with cysts to hold space in her head. The right side was so damaged, they couldn't tell what was "good" brain or not.

In December she began to scream all the time, she wouldn't sleep but for 15 minutes at a time, and eventually, in February they put her on diazepam to control the hypertonia. Life changed dramatically. She was calm, and sleeping through the night. In March, she began to have seizures, and they determined she had epilepsy. In the end of March, they diagnosed Morgan with cerebral palsy. In July, she had to have a gastro tube put in, at 8 months she only weighed 11 pounds. She was also diagnosed with laryngomalasia, which is floppy throat muscles. When she breathes, she sounds congested, even though she isn't. In September, she had a bowel obstruction, and was in the hospital for 26 days. While there, we learned that she had hip dysplysia. Now, at 17 months old, we are in our second spica cast to fix the hip dislocation. She is a sweet child that loves lights, and being held. She has a beautiful smile (and four teeth!) and is the light of my life. Morgan has been classified with spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, level 5. The doctor's say she will never advance more than a 2 month old, but she has captured the heart of every person who has met her. She laughs at rabbits, she likes to be on her tummy, and she loves to snuggle close to people. Throughout the past 17 months, she has battled RSV, pneumonia, apnea, and has several issues with bowel problems, but she has been a fighter every step of the way. She is my sweet angel, and I thank GOD everyday for giving me my daughter. People always say that they want "perfectly healthy children" Morgan isn't exactly "perfectly healthy" but she is the perfect Morgan, and she has brought out the best in everyone who knows and loves her.

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