Lakitha Stephens is Today’s ‘Christmas Wish’ Winner

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  • Today's Chritmas Wish winner is Lakitha Stephens of Greenville, South Carolina

    Dear Tom Joyner:

    In September 2011, I found out I was pregnant at the age of 37 with my first baby. I was so excited, but my happiness quickly turned to a life and death struggle when I developed complications early into my pregnancy due to high blood pressure, which caused severe problems for me and my fetus. At nineteen weeks, I was rushed into surgery where an operation was performed to support my cervix to prevent a miscarriage and I was placed on strict bed rest.   

    My pregnancy remained so high risk that I spent the majority of time in the hospital or home, unable to leave my bed. At twenty-two weeks, I was hospitalized again due to dangerous hypertension and I could only leave if I agreed to daily ultrasounds. Finally, on February 24th, 28 weeks and three days into the pregnancy, an emergency C-Section was done and my miracle little boy, Bryceson, entered the world weighing in at 1 pound and 15 ounces. At first, everything seemed to be going great and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit doctors felt Bryceson had beat the odds of being a preemie.  But when he turned two weeks old, he developed Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC), a medical condition primarily seen in premature infants, where portions of the bowel undergo necrosis (tissue death).

    My son is now four months old and has undergone four surgeries to remove parts of his intestines. The good news is that he has gained weight to eight pounds and has taken a couple of bottles of breast milk. His medical team this week will meet to discuss when he can be coming home for the first time since his birth.  Recently, I returned to work after being on medical leave during my complicated pregnancy and the birth of my delicate son. My son’s father was laid off from work during this whole ordeal and has been with me throughout, but it has been financially crippling for us and except for getting a crib, we have been unable to get anything for the baby. 

    It is my "Christmas Wish" to ask for your help so I can make everything perfect for my little angel when he arrives home. I am making this request for the items to complete his nursery, such as a changing table, bedding for his crib and a colorful mobile that will hang over his crib and also things an infant needs, like clothes, blankets, a stroller, car seat, baby wipes and diapers.  

    Thank you,

    Lakitha Stephens

     

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