Brittany and Jacob Duffell's "Miracle Baby"
Their love began some years ago in September 2002 at the age of 16. Jacob and Brittany, 4 years later got married February 5, 2006. Those of you who know them know they have been through just about everything that was supposed to tear them apart and with their faith, hope, love, trust, and friendship they continue their love story. After many years of trying to conceive as well as gynecologists and two infertility specialists stating that they wouldn't ever be able to conceive naturally, their only choice to be able to have a child of their own was to have In Vitro Fertilization, better known as "IVF" which is insemination of the egg that is then placed in the uterus to grow. At this time, this would be their next journey in life. Soon after their plans of IVF, in October of 2013, Jacob and Brittany moved to Texas. They got moved in nicely there, started new jobs and decided they would just put the IVF on hold a bit until they were settled more in Texas. Soon after moving, they got the biggest blessing. They were expecting and NATURALLY. On January 2, 2014 they finally got to announce the news they had so long wanted to announce to the world, "Coming August 2...... Jacob Duffell and I are beyond excited to announce we are expecting "Our Miracle!"" On March 15th, they announced that their miracle baby was a boy. After nine whole months of a healthy pregnancy and a healthy growing baby the time had come for Brittany and Jacob to finally meet their "miracle baby", Eli.
Brittany was induced on 7/28/2014 at 6:30 in the morning. They broke her water around 7:15. She was in labor a total of 18.5 hours before she knew she would be undergoing an emergency c-section. Since she decided to go as natural as possible even with the pitocin, she decided not to have ANY pain medicine. Labor was extremely hard and tiring but she was very determined. Towards the end of that night, she was finally dilated to 10 cm and so the doctor told her it was time to start pushing. She pushed for several hours before being checked and at that time they realized the lip around her cervix was not going away. She and the baby both experienced Tachycardia and were under a lot of stress. The doctor stated then, it was time to get him out. She was wheeled to the OR where she was given a spinal tap before the c-section was performed. Once Eli was born there was no cry. They heard the doctors say he aspirated meconium, they had to suction and bag him. Since Eli stopped breathing they immediately put him on a ventilator. The pediatrician and a neonatologist were called in. It was determined that Eli was in the birth canal too long and had a bowel movement while still in utero. Eli was to be transferred via ambulance along with Jacob to the NICU at a different hospital. By this time Brittany had not even laid eyes on her baby. Before departure, their son was brought into Brittany's room in an incubator where she was able to touch his foot before being rolled out. Elijah Jacob Duffell was born 7/29/2014 Tuesday morning at 1:18, weighing 7 pounds 8 ounces, 22 inches long.
In Texas, at Mother Frances Hospital NICU, Eli was assessed and given an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed a brain bleed. The neonatologist then suggested a CT scan to further assess the brain bleed. The CT results showed no brain bleed but abnormal white and grey matter of the brain. The doctor then suggested a pediatric MRI which would have to be done at a different hospital in Dallas. All the while, Brittany is still at the hospital trying to rest and recover from labor and delivery, which was extremely hard to do under the circumstances. Tuesday afternoon rolled around and the final decision to transfer Eli to Dallas to Children’s Medical was made. Jacob and Eli flew via a helicopter Tuesday evening. Upon arrival Eli had a sepsis assessment with a lumbar puncture. Eli’s MRI was done on Wednesday morning. Brittany's doctor released her from the hospital early Wednesday afternoon so that her parents could drive her two hours away to be with her baby and her husband.
Upon arrival to the hospital, she was able to be wheeled back to see Eli. He was in an open incubator in which he lay there what seemed to be lifeless. His eyes were open with no movements; he was still on a ventilator. Soon after, the doctor came in to give them an update. This was when they were told of his traumatic brain injury and what his best outcome may be. They were told Eli would have EEG early Thursday morning and then they would meet with the team of doctors Thursday afternoon at 2 pm to discuss all results. Thursday rolled around and the meeting had been moved up almost 1.5 hours early and everyone was being gathered. There they met with some of the finest neurologist team members, doctors, the nurses, a chaplain, social worker, etc. The neurologist brought up Eli’s MRI results along with the EEG results stating the EEG showed no electrical responses and the MRI showed Eli had suffered from what they think was a severe stroke causing his traumatic brain injury. Basically stating, their baby was brain dead and his quality of life was slim to none. Thursday evening they prepped for what was to happen. Jacob and Brittany started with having their son baptized and then had a photography session for memories. That night Brittany was rushed to the ER due to having a temperature of almost 105 and was experiencing Tachycardia. She was admitted into the hospital across the street with an extremely bad uterine infection. She spent 3 days going to and from each hospital through the basements that connected the two hospitals just so she could be with her boys in between getting antibiotics. Finally after being discharged days later she was able to be with her boys full time. During the time she was admitted Eli started making some major changes. He started meeting milestones that no one ever thought would be possible. It was a miracle!! Brittany cried, "Thank you God for bringing my baby this far, with you all things are possible." After hundreds of continued thoughts and prayers their miracle baby was eating (via a NG tube), kicking, crying, peeing/ pooping, blinking, etc. and so much more. Eli’s brain injury will never go away and, no one can tell them what Eli will or will not be able to do. Eli has a long way to go but with God being his biggest cheerleader, along with thoughts/ prayers, the many therapies and doctors appointment they have yet to encounter, their "MIRACLE BABY” was going to be released to go home! On August 11th, they finally got to take their son home.
They're both determined to do what it takes to give their baby the best possible care in their own home with the help of health care providers who will be visiting regularly in their home along with all of the physical therapies, etc. First and foremost, we are asking for prayers for this sweet little family that God has blessed them to be but we would also like to ask for any donations that you may feel you can give. They have insurance but with all of the hospitals they were admitted to between Brittany and Eli and all of the care they received at each, the medications, NICU stay, helicopter flight, etc...the medical bills will undoubtedly be overwhelming and pretty stressful all the while paying for their normal household bills with one income.
All Prayers and Donations are appreciated.
- Clarity Photography
- Paul Bass
- Susan O'Neal
- Tracy Lynn
- Maggie Wilson
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