She’s only 4½ months old, but little Juliette Erickson of Seattle, Washington has already taken the world by surprise.
Her first surprise was arriving more than two months early, in an apparent effort to share a birthday with her big brother, Bennett. Mom went into labor on March 11, at just 31-weeks, an event made even more frightening by the fact that Juliette was already known to have a serious heart defect.
When Juliette emerged via c-section at a slight three pounds and six ounces, it was discovered she also had a large mass on her soft palate and in her nasal cavity, which severely impeded her breathing. So her second surprise was simply surviving those first few days—a tiny, pulsing life at the center of a tangle of doctors, nurses, tubes, and machines.
The weeks and months that followed were filled with both heart and ENT surgeries, infections and desats, blood transfusions and plunging heart rates, intubation and extubation, thousands of prayers and some very scary moments.
We followed along via Facebook, beginning and ending each day with prayers for our dear friends, Jason and Amanda, who in the midst of all the turmoil and sleepless nights, have maintained their characteristic playfulness and humor as well as their resilient faith.
After 20 days in the NICU, Mom got to hold Juliette for the very first time.
And just last week, Juliette made her first trip outside.
Jason, Amanda, and Bennett have been living in the Ronald McDonald house ever since March. (I will never eat a Big Mac without donating to that wonderful charity!) All this time in the hospital, many miles from their home, has placed an understandable strain on their ability to work and of course on their finances. So if you’d like to donate a few dollars to this fund for the Erickson family, I know it would mean a lot to them. They’re pretty much the coolest, kindest people you will ever meet - the type who are always quick to help everyone else, no strings attached.
Obviously, we're all hoping Juliette’s next big surprise is that she’s well enough to go home. There are still some hurdles to clear for that to happen, and Juliette continues to deal with issues related to her heart condition and what’s left of the teratoma on her palate.
Please pray that Juliette’s secretions would subside, that her breathing would improve, and that her lungs and heart would grow stronger. And pray for the rest of the Erickson family—Jason, Amanda, and Bennett—that they will find strength, joy, and rest as they continue in this long journey together.
We’re all cheering Juliette on, praying that she will continue to surprise us for many years to come.
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