Meet Addison: fighting spirit, smiling face!


I found out when I was about 20 weeks pregnant that Addison had a 2-vessel umbilical cord (SUA = single umbilical artery). All of the level 2 scans and high-risk doctors said she looked perfect, but we wouldn’t know until after she was born.

Addison was born on May 13, 2010, about 3 weeks early. SUA babies have a higher rate of stillbirth, so after her heart rate dipped in response to the pitocin, the doctor performed an emergency c-section. She looked perfect, all 5 pounds 10 ounces of her.

Addison started out with feeding issues, then Dr. Smith discovered 2 ventricular septal defects. Thankfully, one of them has since closed and we’re keeping an eye on the other one.

During her first year, she was always sick with ear infections, RSV, and even pneumonia. She also began OT and PT because we began to notice that she was very weak. She didn’t walk until she was 2 and she never really did crawl because it was too painful. Addison was also having vision issues (lazy eye and strabismus) and was wearing glasses by the time she was 1.

addi4We knew something was wrong… something more. So we turned to Akron Children’s.

Since Addison turned 1, she has had 2 sets of tubes put in her ears, thanks to Dr. Masin. She’s had her tear ducts repaired, thanks to Dr. Hertle. Dr. Masin also took out her tonsils and adenoids, and most recently Dr. Murthy performed a velopharyngeal flap repair.

Addison currently receives speech, OT, PT, and sees many specialists at Akron Children’s. She has a velopharyngeal insufficiency and dysphagia.

Her diagnosis isn’t complete because we have begun the lengthy process of genetic testing at the genetic center. As her mom, I have a gut feeling that there is a bigger diagnosis, but I am fully confident in the doctors here at Akron.

After the last few years, I feel like they are part of our family. They know Addison by name, they remember she loves Doc McStuffins and purple is her favorite color, and they give her the best care possible.

For those reasons, I know we’re in the right place. Addison still has a long road to go, but she has overcome every obstacle in her way….with a fighting spirit and a smiling face.


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