“Our daughter, Bailey Rae Stevens, was born on July 8th, 2010. On July 12th, we were told that she developed a bacterial infection in her intestine that was spreading rapidly. By 6pm that night she was on a ventilator and by 9:30 that night her bowel perforated and she had to be taken into emergency surgery. The surgeon told us that there was no hope for her and that she probably wouldn’t survive the surgery. We were told to kiss her goodbye. I will never forget the moment that I leaned in to kiss Bailey before surgery because she grabbed my finger and wouldn’t let go. I thought she was saying goodbye but it turns out she was showing me how strong a little girl can be. Little Bailey fought as hard as she could and against all odds she did survive the surgery but lost 70% of her small intestine.
She spent the first 108 days of her life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Spring Valley Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada. During this time my family met a very special group of people. The doctors and nurses that cared for Bailey as she fought to recover. Our family endured some highs and lows while in the NICU and these people, who didn’t even know us, made that journey with us.
They were there when we cried, worried, laughed and celebrated. They have become family to us. They were with us 24 hours a day and when we couldn’t be there they sent us pictures and updates. They bought her jambes, made bows for her hair and rocked her when she cried. They listened to us as we worried, hugged us when we cried and most important loved Bailey like she was their own.
Bailey came home in October 2010. She had a feeding tube and an I/V and we were told that we should expect a long, slow recovery. Bailey continued to prove everyone wrong and we were able to remove the I/V in March of 2011 and take her off the feeding tube in November just before the first annual Buckles and Barrels for Bailey. She had what we hope is her final surgery in March of 2012 to close up the spot where her feeding tube use to be.
We are so blessed and thank God every day for the gift of this little girl and the medical staff that helped her recover. I realize that their job is to help babies but how do you thank someone for saving your baby’s life and making a difficult time bearable? The one thing that my husband and I know how to do is produce a barrel race. We have raised over $48,000 in the past four years, with all of the proceeds going to the Spring Valley Hospital NICU. We would like to make 2016 our biggest race yet and would like your help in achieving this goal!