During her 148 days in the NICU, Payton kept everyone on their toes
On March 1, 2017… a very special Ash Wednesday, God delivered a tiny miracle. Payton Elizabeth came into this world at just 23 weeks gestation, 12 inches long and 1 lb 4 oz of sweetness, determination and might. Given the challenges that would lie ahead, Payton was quickly baptized as we prepared for her incredible journey.
During the next 148 days in Bronson’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Payton kept everyone on their toes. She was intubated for 91 of those 148 days and received many blood transfusions to help her body fight off infections. Within her first week, she developed an intestinal perforation which required a drain to be surgically inserted. Shortly after came surgery number two, a long and complicated procedure to place a Broviac Catheter needed for intravenous nutrition. A few days later Payton was diagnosed with Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC), a condition where a portion of the bowel dies, and an emergency surgery was performed to remove the severely affected tissue. After she gained strength and weight, a final surgery was performed to clean up her remaining intestinal issues, she was left with only 30% of her bowel. Throughout her stay Payton received many transfusions to help her body fight off further infection. We are so thankful for everyone who donates blood. We would like to recognize the amazing NICU staff at Bronson. The medical care Payton received was exceptional throughout her stay and the love and compassion shown to her and our family will forever be remembered and appreciated.
Payton continues to thrive and is a happy, healthy little girl despite many challenges. She has been diagnosed with Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS), has a G-Tube and, due to severe prematurity, has Periventricular Leuokomalicia (PVL) and Cerebral Palsy (CP). Despite only having 30% of her bowel, she defies the odds eating primarily by mouth and is on an unrestricted diet. Her favorite foods are bananas and macaroni and cheese. The PVL and CP have affected her motor development but she has no cognitive delays. Payton is undeterred by her limitations and enjoys life like other toddlers with a few modifications. She loves being read books, playing her piano, watching videos interactively with adults and learning the ABC’s. She especially loves playing with her brother and cousins, swimming, and going to sporting events with her family.