Friday, May 23


Today would have been my very first Grand Daughters 6th birthday. Eric and Shawna had already flown to Portland to prepare for the birth of their baby girl. They had found out several weeks earlier during a routine ultrasound that their unborn daughter had Hyplastic Left Heart Syndrome. She would be delivered at Oregon Health Science University Hospital in Portland. The plan was to have a 90% successful heart surgery. One of approximately three planned her first two years of life.

I was attending Janelle's High School graduation when we got the call. Shawna went into labor a few days early. She didn't have to be induced. Everyone was praying the outcome would be good.

Cailin Marie Davis made her appearance the morning of May 23rd, 2002. CPR had to be performed. They immediately did a quick surgery and hooked her up to a ECMO machine. Her life support.
I was at work when I received the call. Eric told me the news, it didn't look good. I packed my bags and hit the road with my daughter Janelle for a long 7 hour drive. I was stressed and nervous but continued to pray for baby Cailin. By the time we arrived she had been transferred to Doernbecker Childrens Hospital. I found the NICU and reunited with the family. When I first laid eyes on Cailin, it brought tears to my eyes and she took my breath away. She was a fat, pink, beautiful little Angel. Then I noticed the machines, the tubes, the bandaids, the gauze. How could God do this?? Her parents were only 20 years old! It broke my heart. Nobody should go through such pain and suffering! Why them??
Cailin laid there with tubes out of her open chest, from her heart to the ECMO. She had a breathing tube. She had an IV. She was sedated to keep her heart rate down. The less stress the better. Her poor little body was trying to heal and survive. I witnessed the pure love of a parent as Eric and Shawna held her fingers, caressed her hair and stroked her little toes. Eric sang to her daily. "Hey little girl, look what you do... Oh I love you.. Hey little girl look what you do. I got you, my own Cailin. Hey little girl. Oh I love you!"
Only a couple of times as the sedation wore off did she open her eyes and look around. I believe she laid there in Gods ever loving arms receiving comfort only he could give her. I believed her life on earth would be short, but remained strong and hopeful. A mother's worst pain is seeing her child suffer. I could only offer comfort with a hug and my presents.
Baby Cailin lived 11 days. During her short time on earth, she touched many lives. She must have been a very special Angel to be able to return to and live with God so soon. Baby Cailin, you will always be in my heart. Happy Birthday! Love Grammy.
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Vicki said...

I am so sorry for your loss - it must feel like it was yesterday. God bless you and your family.

Roger said...

My heart felt sympathy to you and your family.

Julia Stainton said...

What a beautiful tribute Michele. My heart goes out to you and your family. What a precious angel.

beate said...

Michelle, I am sitting here tears running down my face. I am so sorry for your families loss. Thank you for sharing your little Angel through this post and your beautiful pages with us!

Vicki C said...

I was here just to say hello and comment on your beautiful work..but then I got caught up reading this post. I cant imagine your families pain. Heartbreaking.
I am sure God is holding her in his loving arms. Hugs!

Diane said...

How sad Michelle,as I sat and read this,you are so strong! I'm sure Cailin is watching over all of you!
God bless all of you!

Brandy said...

Has it really been six years? Wow. She is adorable. How lucky to have God need her with Him so soon! What a little angel...

Rocio said...

My daughter is an ECMO survivor so I know at least part of the anguish that you all must have felt. I feel for your loss, and all I can offer is a prayer for strenghth to your family.