The smile on Maya Donaldson’s face doesn’t speak of the struggles she faced when she was born prematurely. Instead, it reflects the enduring love of her parents, the dedication of her Scott & White surgeons, the lasting friendships and the special gifts of blood she received from her Hometown Heroes.
Maya was due to be born on April 19, 2010. However, on December 21, 2009, Maya’s mother, Kristy, went into early labor and was transported by ambulance from Waco to Scott & White Hospital – Temple. Her obstetrician had specifically requested this location, as he knew the two on-staff perinatologists were the only hope for the child’s survival.
By the time they reached Scott & White Hospital and were admitted to labor and delivery, Kristy’s water broke. The team quickly determined Maya was trying to deliver, put Kristy into the trendelenburg position and started the first round of lung-maturing steroids. The perinatologists and the Donaldson family were facing a 20% chance for Maya’s survival.
Miraculously, Maya did something that less than 1% has ever done before. She pulled her feet back, turned her head back down and closed the cervical door. This lucky maneuver bought Maya another week in-utero.
At 23.6 weeks, an emergency C-section was performed. Maya now had a 65% chance to live, but only if she didn’t have too many serious complications along the way. She was born December 27, 2009, at 1 pound, 4.8 ounces and almost 11 inches long.
During her five-month stay in the NICU, Maya had multiple surgeries to address her PDA, bowels, eyes and hernias. To survive, she would need a lot of blood to help her body recuperate. The Donaldsons called all of their friends and, with the help of the Scott & White Blood Center staff, were able to start a signup sheet for blood donors. Maya’s story spread through the hospital and out into the community, and the list of donors continued to grow every day.
In all, Maya required more than 30 blood transfusions and 20 sets of platelets.
“Without this life-saving blood, clearly Maya would not be alive,” said Maya’s proud father Lance Donaldson. “We are forever grateful and thankful to the people who cared enough to give us another day with our beautiful baby girl. We are forever indebted.”
“Dr. Danny Little, our amazing surgeon, and Dr. Cheryl Cipriani, our fabulous neonatologist, along with the help of the nurse practitioners, nurses, and staff members of Scott & White Hospital and Blood Center made it possible for us to take our sweet baby girl home in May 2010 to meet her eager older siblings, Kyle and Lizzie,” added Kristy Donaldson. “This was an emotional, long awaited, and sweet homecoming!”