From Post staff reports
A baby who might not have lived if March of Dimes hadn’t been able to help is this years Ambassador child for Wilson County.
Her parents, Leshia and Mike Scheetz, told the amazing story with their daughter, Mikayla, at the March of Dimes kickoff event at Dell recently.
“Having the March for Babies Walk on April 25th this year means more than just any other day to us,” said her mother. “It was this day in 2007 we welcomed our daughter, Mikayla Leigh.”
She told the group that Mikayla was born full term, 39 weeks, but weighed only 4 pounds, 2 ounces.
“But it’s five months earlier that our story begins. After having my 20-week ultrasound, I received a phone call stating that something was not quite right,” Leshia said. An in-depth ultrasound confirmed this, and the couple was told their baby had Spina Bifida, among many other things. Doctors said due to the formation of her ribs, the lungs would never be able to fully expand and she would never be able to fully breathe on her own. The couple saw three different doctors that same day, and all gave grim diagnoses.
They told the the Scheetzs would be better to end the pregnancy.
“However, abortion was not an option for us,” Leshia said.
“If we abort this baby, there is no chance to see a miracle,” Mike said that day.
The next five months were a blur filled with heartache, Lesshia told the group. But after much preparation, Mikayla’s scheduled birth day came. And at 12:40 p.m. on April 25, 2007, Mikayla Leigh came into the world.
“It took a few minutes, but we heard her cry, which meant she was breathing on her own,” Leshia said. “From that point on, the only assistance she needed with breathing was a couple of puffs of room air.”
She was immediately taken to the NICU and had surgery the next day to repair her myelomeningocele (small opening on her back exposing her spinal cord). The surgery proved successful but after arriving home, the couple noticed that Mikayla’s back incision was leaking fluid. After an extremely long visit to the ER, she was readmitted to the hospital. During the next six months, she had several surgeries, including ones for placement of a shunt to take the pressure off her brain and an eventual replacement when it stopped functioning properly.
In a final statement the couple said, “Today, Mikayla is doing great. She has surpassed all the predictions that doctors placed on her before birth. There are many unknown aspects of her future but we trust that God is in full control. We are so thankful for March of Dimes and their contributions to research for prevention of issues that affect and devastate too many families today. Hopefully, one day in the near future no one will have to endure the heartache.”
“It really was amazing to see how the March of Dimes’ mission helps children like Mikayla,” said Leigh Tenewitz, community director for the March of Dimes. The meeting also set $18,000 in new goals and secured two new sponsorships from local offices. Tenewitz also provided information about how to fundraise online, which is what March of Dimes is making a big push toward. The site that has everything is marchforbabies.org.