Born June 22nd, 1996
Jennifer Lynn Dillow was born to Ted and Loretta Dillow. She was born at 5:32 p.m. Saturday June 22, 1996. She weighed 8lbs. and 1 oz. and was 20 1/4 inches long.
We had no complications during the pregnancy to speak of. There was a small chance that she might have downs syndrome, but we didn’t test for that because we felt that we would still love her no matter what. We were expecting to have a normal healthy baby girl. Her due date was June 15 so she was a full term baby. She was a natural birth.
When she was born she was turning blue and was not breathing. I was a panic and my OB doctor was shocked. A nurse started working with her and they took her out of the room.
I sent my husband out to check on her. He came back and said that they had her breathing.
The baby’s doctor came in and told us that her lungs had not inflated like they should have and sometimes that happens, but in a few days they would be okay. He thought she possibly had pneumonia so he called Wichita and they were going to life flight her to Wichita. He then later returned and said she may have some heart problems.
They let us go in to see and touch her before the helicopter came to take her. There wasn’t room in the helicopter so my husband drove out to Wichita to be with her. I was not able to go till Monday. During that time they diagnosed her with a rare Vein of Galen. They told us that not many babies have this. We were devastated. The hospital she was at could not treat her and they said only about 5 hospitals in the U.S. could possibly treat her and if they could find one to treat her.
Wednesday night they had finally found a doctor that would accept her. She was then flown to The Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas.
The doctor in Wichita was not sure she’d make it because her heart and liver were overlarge. Her heart rate was twice of what it should be. She was very critical.
Houston said that without the surgery she might live one month. The doctor in Wichita didn’t think she would make it that long.
My husband and I flew down to Houston Thursday morning and they did the surgery on Friday morning. The surgery went well, but she did have some bleeding on the brain. They said that it would be up to her to make it stop. Too much blood on the brain would cause her to die.
By Saturday she was starting to move a little, but not waking up. The nurse said that it was probably just reflexes. I didn’t want to loose Jennifer. We had waited for 7 years for her. She had a 8 year old brother Justin that was looking forward to having a sister.
I prayed and prayed and prayed for Jennifer to be okay. We had our church, family, friends and people we didn’t even know praying for her. She drew people together that hadn’t spoken in years to each other. The people were great in every way.
Sunday they took her off the morphine in hopes that she would start waking up. She hadn’t woke up since the surgery.
I prayed and prayed that she’d open her eyes by Sunday at noon. She started opening her eyes just before noon. It was an answer to prayer. She was quite a little fighter.
Then on Monday they told us that it seemed like when she was awake she would breathe on her own but when she was asleep the life supports were doing all the work. So they were going to do a CAT scan and a brain wave test. They said after they get this done they would have a conference with us to tell us just exactly what was going on and if she would be able to live without the life support. They were hoping to get the test done that day, but it was Tuesday before they got to do it. Monday was not a good day for her, they found that she was also starting to have seizures.
On Tuesday we went in and she was awake, alert and active. Her color was good. We had really high hopes. It seemed as if we were going to finally have some sunshine in our lives.
She did the CAT scan and then they did the brain wave test. During the brain wave test she had a seizure. They said it caused her brain to slide down into her spine. Jennifer had passed away.
My husband and I were in the room when all of this happened. We knew instantly that it was over. Our little angel had sprouted her wings. We feel that God and Jennifer made the decision for her to go so we didn’t have to make the decision on her life support.
We know that God had his reasons. We don’t understand but she did the job that God wanted her to do.
She fought the fight with all her might. We love and miss her dearly. We cherished every minute we had with her. She died on July 2nd, 1996. She was 11 days old. She was our little angel. Whatever the reason for her to go, we know that someday we’ll see her in heaven.
There’s not a day that passes where we think about her. We are blessed to have had her in our lives.
There were lots of answered prayers and miracles just in that short time. She is truly our little angel.
She would have been 7 years old this June. As the time goes by we often wonder what she would be doing and the things she would have liked. Pre-school, kindergarten, programs etc..
She left behind a brother Justin at the time was 8 years old. We were able to let him have as much a part of Jennifer as possible. He was able to hold her once in Wichita and got to go in the NICU all the time. In Houston he was only able to go in and see her on Sunday and see her after she had the seizure. In Nov. 96, we had decided to try and have another child. We talked with our doctor and she said that the chances of having another child with the Vein of Galen would be very slim. To our surprise I got pregnant in Dec. ’96. We gave birth to a healthy baby boy 8lbs and 15ozs. on August 17, 1997. We named him Jacob Taylor
We thank all of our doctors and nurses that had a part in Jennifer’s short life. They will always be special in our hearts.