Ava Elaine was born with a condition unheard of by many who will read her story: congenital diaphragmatic hernia, or CDH. She began her journey on October 22, 2010. From the moment she came into my life, with her amazing, beautiful red hair and pretty blue eyes, I knew pure love.
After one brief moment of skin-to-skin touch with her, she was whisked from my arms to a waiting team of doctors and nurses and put on a ventilator.
Ava's courageous battle against seemingly insurmountable odds tells the story of her amazing impact on the lives of her family, friends, doctors, nurses, and even complete strangers. From her delivery at Parkland to the NICU at Children'sMedicalCenterinDallas, she touched the lives of everyone who came to know her.
"Ava quickly got a reputation for being a fighter. From the time she entered the NICU, Ava clenched her little fists in preparation for her fight. Grandpa bought her a set of pink boxing gloves, and Team Ava was always standing at the ready in her corner. The staff at the hospital marveled at her ability to overcome a number of obstacles and difficult medical procedures. She would surprise us all, by telling us in her own way that she was not giving up without a fight."
--Elias Lopez, chaplain, Children'sMedicalCenter
In the words of Dr. James Thomas, "Ava was endowed with a unique grace that those who knew her could feel. Perhaps Ava was a vehicle for a greater force or maybe she possessed a larger-than-life charisma."
How could one little girl's battle for life have such a life-changing effect on those who loved her?