New moms instincts may have saved life
It all started out innocently enough. Paiton Hearn was born Sept. 1, and she seemed perfectly healthy.
Unfortunately, things quickly took a bad turn. When Paiton ran a 101-degree fever, her mother, Karissa Hearn, feared that something was wrong.
Her maternal instincts led her to insist that Paiton be examined, even though doctors and her husband, Jakob, said it was likely not a big deal.
When they first went to the hospital, Paiton was diagnosed with a cold. She soon began having seizures, however, and she was transferred to Texas Children’s Hospital. She was admitted to the Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, where she spent nearly a month.
“I thought I was going to lose my baby,” Hearn said.
“I was in complete shock. We went from thinking that it’s a cold to, ‘Oh, my daughter is on life support. Call up the family because she’s not going to make it.’ “
Paiton had a viral infection that resulted in an enlarged liver and intestinal problems. Her first week in NICU was spent on life support, until a serendipitous accident revealed that she was able to breathe on her own.
“My husband visited her, and she reached up and broke the tube off the life support machine,” Hearn said. “They saw she could breathe on her own, and all her vitals went back up.
They don’t know how that happened.”
Paiton was not completely out of the woods, but it was a sign that the worst was over. The intestinal problems forced her to eat through a feeding tube for almost a month. Eventually, she was able to begin eating on her own, and Hearn says she seems to be completely on the road to recovery.
“Ever since we got home, Paiton has been a very happy baby,” Hearn said.
“She’s a very rambunctious baby. She wants to be held and loved on. She has to be in her daddy’s arms, and then she’ll be quiet.”
Paiton will still need to return to the hospital for neurological and cardiac check-ups for a while, but she is no longer in imminent peril due to the infection.
There is every reason to believe the “miracle baby” will remain healthy into the foreseeable future.
ABOUT KARISSA HEARN
OCCUPATION: Stay-athome mother
COMMUNITY CONNECTION: Alvin resident
FAST FACT: Paiton is Karissa’s first child.