Photography by Dinah Sutton Photography
This sweet and sassy four year old is Kessley. She is a delightful beauty both inside and out. Everyone around her is blessed and energized by her presence. She is not only cute, but also feisty. This little fighter has proven that she is happy to be here and she will stop at nothing to live a fulfilled life. She has been a fighter since day one.
Following a healthy pregnancy, Kessley stopped moving in the womb at 38 weeks gestation. Upon delivery, they found that this was due to the umbilical cord being wrapped tightly around her body which deprived her from oxygen. Kessley was immediately intubated following birth. She had a collapsed lung, needed a blood transfusion and was fighting for her life. The doctors discovered that she had one very small underdeveloped lung, but the other one was working extra hard to sustain her life. She had difficulty responding and as a last resort, the pediatrician gave her an epi-pen injection and by the grace of God, it worked. Her lung inflated enough to get a chest tube in and she was stabilized well enough to be transported to the NICU via helicopter. In the NICU, she was assisted in her fight for life by a ventilator, chest tube and feeding tube. Although it was heartbreaking to see her like this, the specialized care helped her to recover and within a few days, she was able to breathe on her own. Through an MRI, the neonatologist found that there was significant damage to the brain due to lack of oxygen. He did not expect her to come off of the feeding tube or breathe on her own. She proved him to be terribly wrong, though! She began therapy in the hospital and was discharged on day 13, breathing and eating on her own. The tubes were removed and she got to go home. She was quite the tiny miracle and began to flourish; overcoming obstacle after obstacle.
Kessley has Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy with Dystonia, moderate bilateral hearing loss, Epilepsy, amblyopia and global developmental delay. She wears glasses, hearing aids and uses a power wheelchair to get around and a communication device to make her needs known. She attends regular speech, occupational, physical and hippo therapy where she works diligently to continue to make progress. She is an incredibly hard worker and it is paying off.
Kessley has a team of loved ones cheering her on and supporting her every step of the way. One of her biggest fans is her eleven-year-old brother, Tate. Tate has been by her side since day one and she has proclaimed that he is the best brother in the whole world. Together, these siblings have hung the moon and will continue to reach beyond the stars. With such great support, dedication and a strong will to succeed, the sky is certainly the limit!
The journey may be long and hard, but it is all worth it. Kessley received a bathroom and bedroom makeover to help facilitate increased independence and meet her needs as she grows.
The renovations incorporated all of her favorite things including hues of pink and blue, princesses Anna and Elsa, farm animals and enough space to enjoy her favorite pastimes with Tate: swinging, singing, dancing and watching Bubble Guppies on T.V.