Missy, born 2002
My husband and I found out at seven weeks gestation that we were expecting twins. We were elated and somewhat in shock. Twin B was smaller than Twin A and our obstetrician told us not to be surprised if at the next sonogram Twin B was gone. We have a strong faith in God and prayed that both our twins would survive. Throughout the pregnancy, Twin B remained small. We found out that we were having baby girls and decided that Twin B's middle name would be Faith because our faith in God is what carries us through life.
Melissa Faith was born on June 13, 2002 one minute following her twin sister, Tori. Missy (Melissa) weighed in at 2lbs. 15oz. and measured 17 3/4 inches. She was diagnosed at one day old with Ventricular Septal Defects, Pulmonary Stenosis and an irregular heartbeat. The nurses in the NICU said that the rhythm of her heart made them dance.
At first, we were told her surgery would be at one year of age. At six months of age, Missy stopped gaining weight and her pediatric cardiologist decided it was time to do surgery. On December 17, 2002, weighing 11 pounds, Missy had open heart surgery. More than one VSD was found and they were closed and her pulmonary valve was opened as much as it could be and a pacemaker was inserted. Missy was in the Pediatric ICU for eight days. I remember the first time I heard her heart beat after surgery and it actually had a beating sound to it instead of a "swoosh" sound. It was amazing!
Today, Missy is full of life! She's still smaller than her twin sister but her vivacious personality and smile makes up for what she lacks in size. Missy will have to have surgeries throughout her life to replace her pacemaker and eventually replace her pulmonary valve. But, we know that she will pull through just fine. She has a strong willed personality and walks with purpose. I'll never forget what one of the NICU nurses told me, "Sometimes dynamite comes in small packages!" Boy was she right.
Story by Missy's mom, Liz - Texas