We’ve got some happy news to share from Douglasville, Georgia where an infant is finally getting to leave the NICU after spending her first six months of life in the hospital.
Baby girl Paisley Courson was born with a very rare and severe skeletal disorder called thanatophoric dysplasia, or TD. The disorder, which can be fatal, is characterized by very short arms legs with extra folds of skin on the limbs. Although she received the scary diagnosis, the infant is beating the odds and the disorder. In addition to kicking TD’s butt, she’s also an inspiration to everyone she meets.
Paisley Courson was diagnosed with a rare disorder, thanatophoric dysplasia before she was born.
Paisley’s parents, Melissa and Chris Courson, found out about the disorder when Melissa was 20 weeks pregnant with her daughter.
“We were thinking, ‘She’s not going to make it,'” Melissa told Good Morning America on Wednesday. “We were devastated, sad, couldn’t understand why this happened to us because [TD, the condition] is not in our family. It’s a rare, gene mutation, which is what [experts] said.”
The majority of babies born with this rare form of dwarfism don’t survive.
The Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center states that most babies born with TD or thanatophoric dwarfism are stillborn or die shortly after birth of respiratory failure. Despite Melissa’s fears for her daughter, her baby did “make it.”
Paisley was born six weeks premature on August 28, 2019, she weighed just 5lbs and 2oz. From the moment Paisley arrived, her condition was extremely fragile. Because of TD, the baby’s lungs weren’t fully developed.
Paisley was put on a ventilator immediately after she was born and couldn’t leave the hospital.
“They took her and put her on a ventilator immediately so she was in the NICU as soon as she was out of my womb,” her mom told GMA. “She couldn’t breathe on her own.”
Over the following days, weeks, and months each day seemed like a miracle. Paisley fought for her life every day and harder than most do their entire lives. After a month, Paisley underwent her first surgery, a tracheostomy. The surgery was a success but that success wasn’t immediately felt. The family’s initial goal was to have Paisley home for Christmas 2019, but things didn’t go to plan.
Paisley was monitored for months after the tracheostomy surgery.
Paisley had to be monitored for 184 days before she was allowed to go home. After months of waiting, On February 25th, Paisley was welcomed home by her big sister, brother, and the entire Courson family. It was exactly two months after Christmas, so not too far off!
Paisley’s parents say that having their child out of the hospital and safe at home has made their child happier and healthier. “Since being home she is a different baby,” they wrote on a GoFundMe page for their child.
Paisley’s personality really bloomed outside of the cold hospital and inside her warm home.
While these developments have been positive and made the entire family feel whole, there are still many obstacles ahead for them. Paisley will need speech, physical, and occupational therapies as she grows.
“We have a long journey ahead but she is getting stronger daily,” the family said in an update. “We thank you all for your support and prayers it [has] meant the world to know that people are supporting our daughter in this time the prayers have truly been heard and answered.”
Nothing can stop baby Paisley.
The family is getting to see a whole new side of their child now that she’s out of the hospital. Her personality has blossomed.
“She loves music, she loves playing with her toys,” Melissa, her mother said. “We love her little smile.”
Paisley is taking things at her own pace and that’s just fine.
Both the GoFundMe campaign and a Facebook page dedicated to Paisley are called, “Prayers for Paisley.” The family has been providing updates on their daughter’s development and sharing news with supporters. Melissa said Paisley “continues to prove that miracles do happen.”
“She’s got her own little speed she’s going at,” Melissa told GMA. “She’s a little behind, but we’re OK with that.”
We’re so happy for Paisley and the Courson family. Having all members of a family under one roof is a blessing. We look forward to any updates they provide about Paisley and wish them the very best.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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