Family Creates Photo Album Documenting Baby's Miraculous Recovery From Meningitis

| by Jonathan Wolfe

Meningitis is an incredibly deadly infection capable of killing even the healthiest of people.

When young Olivia George contracted the disease just days after being born, her parents prepared themselves for the worst.

To preserve what little time they thought they would have with their daughter, Jamie and Danielle George started taking pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.

"We wanted to capture every moment. We were terrified we would lose her as she was so ill, but we thought it would help us cope,” Danielle said. "It was absolutely terrifying seeing her hooked up to so many machines but I knew if she survived then at least we could show her the whole journey.”

The Georges recalled what it was like learning that their daughter’s seemingly trivial case of the sniffles was actually meningitis.

"It was my worst nightmare," Danielle said, "in just days I had gone from thinking my baby had a cold to being on her death bed."

After being taken to the hospital, Olivia spent the next seven weeks locked in a vicious fight against the bacterial infection.

"She was put straight on ECMO - a machine that works by creating a circuit, so the blood can circulate bypassing the heart,” Danielle explained. “This allows it to rest and recover. We had to sign a consent form as one of the risks is brain damage.”

Through it all, the George’s never stopped snapping pictures.

"If felt strange taking pictures of her being so ill but we prayed she would make it through to see what she went through,” Danielle said. “It gave us hope that she would make it and have a future, although we were terrified for her.”

After seven consecutive weeks in the hospital, the George’s received the best news of their lives: in a seemingly miraculous accomplishment, Olivia’s young body beat meningitis.

“Now Olivia is back home and she has only needed to go back to the hospital a few times,” James said.

Danielle said Olivia’s recovery makes the photo album even more special than they expected.

"We are so happy we've put together the memory box for her as now she'll be able to look back and understand what she went through,” she said. “It is full of photographs, cards, messages from friends and family as well as things Isaac made for her too. She is so lucky to have survived and we can't thank hospital staff anymore for saving our girl."

Sources: NY Daily News, Free Press Series