"The doctors did not think she was going to make it and we were getting ready to say our goodbyes," her mother, Aliesha Smith said.
Addy Smith has only seen the four walls of a hospital ever since she was born; at two years old, she has spent her entire life in a hospital. Finally, on April 5, 2022, after 848 days of treatment at two different San Diego hospitals, Addy was discharged and taken home.
The child was born prematurely at 27 weeks and 4 days via a cesarean section on December 10, 2019, at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns in San Diego. She was diagnosed with intrauterine growth restriction while still in the womb, which, according to Medline Plus, "refers to the poor growth of a baby while in the mother's womb during pregnancy."
Addy had underdeveloped lungs at birth but was making good progress. She was moved from a ventilator to continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine to help her breathe. However, three months after her birth, her health began to deteriorate. "The doctors did not think she was going to make it and we were getting ready to say our goodbyes," her mother, Aliesha Smith, 35, told Good Morning America.
It took doctors nearly an hour to revive Addy. However, the staff at Sharp Mary Birch told the little one's parents, that in order to give Addy a fighting chance, she needed to be transported to Rady Children's Hospital.
A 2-year-old girl who spent the first two years of her life in the hospital is back home with her parents and younger brother in California.https://t.co/gwTLIE02tb— KTXS News (@KTXS_News) April 19, 2022
Addy was transported to Rady Children's Hospital in March 2020. Since that was the start of the pandemic, there were a lot of protocols in place, which meant that only one parent was allowed to stay with Abby.
"She was so critical, so critical, that we had a friend that let us use their RV. And so we parked on the street and that's where one of us would be when one of us would be up by her room," said Smith.
Addy was in the PICU for over a year, where she was being treated by Dr. Sandeep Khanna."She was a challenge. She was having periods when the air exchange was very difficult on her and we had to give her heavy amounts of sedation to relax her, and sometimes even the heavy, heavy amounts of sedation did not work. The only thing which helped us through was that we had to give her a paralyzing medication after heavy sedation," he shared.
Even though Addy was on a paralytic medicine for months, and the hospital staff had no idea what would and wouldn't work on her, her family never lost hope. Soon, all the care and observation actually began to help and her lungs were beginning to grow. Sure, there were a few incidents where Addy couldn't breathe in February and March 2022, but she didn't have any bronchoconstriction or muscular spasms in the lungs.
Along with the fact that their daughter was getting better, the Smiths also found out that they were expecting another child. Addy's parents, Aliesha and Chris Smith had their second child, a healthy baby boy named Aiden, whom they welcomed in 2021.
Finally, Addy and Aiden have been reunited after months apart and the parents can't get enough of the two of them. "She starts cracking up when he's laughing or when he's screaming, she cracks up, and it's funny to see them interact. We've taken them on walks together out in the neighborhood, which has been so fun to do." The Smiths are full of optimism for their oldest child who still requires the use of a ventilator at home for the time being.
By sharing their story, they believe they can give another family strength.
"It's been miracle after miracle with her," the father said. "We're both so excited to see where she goes and what she can do. And I know she's always going to continue to blow us away and surprise us."
"I'm hoping we can give another family hope. We felt very alone during this whole thing and if her story can give another family that may be going through something so similar ... if we can give them that little peace, I know it would have meant everything to us, as well."
Cover Image Source: YouTube | Good Morning America