“It was hard, but not impossible, because my love for Arleth and her eagerness to live, gave me the strength I needed to go on.”
Arleth was born at 35 weeks and 6 days. She weighed 5 pounds and 13 ounces. She spent 23 days in the NICU, so she was baptized there since we were told she wouldn’t make it to take her home.
Then, the doctors asked if we wanted to take her home so that she would be surrounded by her family when she passed away. I told them that I did wanted to take her home.
The doctors told me “she doesn’t need anything. She doesn’t need a pediatrician. She just needs love because she may not spend more than 15 days with you.”
My husband told the doctor, “what you’re saying is your point of view. I’m going to listen to God’s words.” And Arleth was driven home on a special ambulance. She was connected to two machines to help her breathe 24 hours a day, a machine to feed her, and another machine to measure her oxygen and heartbeats.
A month went by and I could see how Arleth had thrived more than what the doctors had expected. So I started to look for other doctors. I found a cardiologist and a pediatrician. We started to wean Arleth off her breathing machine- first, we tried with 2 to 5 minutes every day to see how she tolerated it. Now she only uses it if she needs it.
The first year was really hard: she was admitted to hospital 8 times, she needed 16 nurses 24/7…I could barely sleep. It was hard but not impossible because my love for Arleth and her eagerness to live gave me the strength I needed to go on.
Nowadays, Arleth is seen by various practitioners. She was diagnosed with blindness and she needs a hearing aid. She receives physical, occupational and speech therapy. She goes to school twice a week. In November 2020, she caught COVID 19 but fortunately, she had mild symptoms. She also has seizures.
In spite of her impairments, Arleth loves watching TV and listening to music; she rolls on the floor and plays with musical and light up toys. Also, she has a very strong personality, she always knows what she wants.
Arleth is currently 3 years and 8 months old, and she weighs 36 pounds. She’s totally happy and she knows all her family and the nurses who take care of her. She brings happiness to our home and she’s an absolute miracle.
Written by: Alma Ortiz, Arleth’s mom
Translated by: Nadine Koharic