After their baby daughter was on life support for 10 days, a couple made the agonizing decision to turn the machine off, but miraculously, once she was no longer hooked up to anything, she began to breathe on her own.
Last July, Sky Disson and Peter Klawinska were horrified to discover their 6-month-old baby girl Lillie blue in her crib. Klawinska attempted to give his daughter CPR while they waited for an ambulance, and upon arriving at a local hospital, they were told that their daughter had to be transferred to a different hospital 80 miles away.
“There was no heartbeat, nothing at all,” Disson told the Mirror. “I watched her turn blue in front of my eyes. I assumed my baby had died. It felt like a nightmare and I was waiting to wake up. But I didn’t and it was real.”
“My world came crashing down in an instant,” Klawinska added. “I just desperately tried to help her. I was breathing into her but nothing was happening.”
“The paramedics arrived within five minutes but they couldn’t get her breathing until they used adrenaline to restart her body,” Disson continued. “In total there was no heartbeat or breath for 24 minutes.”
Once she was settled in an intensive care unit, little Lillie showed no signs of getting better. Doctors confirmed that the baby had suffered brain damage from a lack of oxygen and decided to put her on life support to see if she would get better. After 10 days, however, everyone was convinced she wouldn’t make it.
“The doctors told us this was how she was going to be for the rest of her life,” Disson said. “They suggested it was best to turn off the life support but gave us time to make our decision. I was determined that when the doctors walked in I was going to say no. But then we decided it was fair to let Lillie make her own mind up. The last thing we wanted to do was prolong her suffering.”
“Letting them take out the tubes was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” Klawinska said. “My every instinct as a father was telling me to stop them.”
After already christening her, Klawinska and Disson held their daughter for what they thought would be the last time. Suddenly, Lillie began to breathe on her own, and all of their prayers were answered in a single moment.
“We were both so tense when the life support was taken away,” Disson recalled. “But then I noticed her chest was rising and falling. That was brilliant to see. It was a massive relief because she looked calm and didn’t seem to be fighting to breathe.”
Doctors were amazed to see that Lillie was breathing on her own, but they warned the hopeful parents that she could go downhill quickly. They kept praying, however, and eventually, they were able to bring their little girl home.
Today, Lillie is 14 months old and doing well despite the circumstances. While she is developmentally delayed due to the brain damage, Disson and Klawinska say she is making huge improvements every single day.