“Your baby has little to no chance of survival,” the doctor said. Nothing can prepare a first time expectant mother for those words. And yet, it was as though my sister, Lauren Krakowski, had been preparing for that moment her entire life. Despite what the ultrasound had shown, an undeniable strength was growing inside her. She knew that in order to have this baby she had to have faith.
Sure enough, on December 22nd, 2018 my sister Lauren, alongside her loving and supportive partner Mike Withun, gave birth to their first baby girl, Faith Evelyn Mary Withun. Once born, she was shown to them for a split second before being rushed away. The lead doctor on scene gave her three minutes to live.
Since that time, by the grace of God, a team of amazing doctors, and a warrior spirit, Faith has truly lived up to her name. Against all odds, doctors were able to get a breathing tube to her lungs and have kept her stable ever since. Her lung was and still is severely damaged due to an enlarged artery in her heart (ten times the normal size) which has since been operated on successfully.
Faith has been diagnosed with DiGeorge Syndrome and remains on a ventilator. Her side effects are the first to be seen by even the most experienced U of M specialists. She still needs a lot of medical attention before she can be cleared to go home. As I write this, a team of doctors are developing a plan to repair Faith’s lung and rid it of fluid that has built up in one of her bronchial tubes. Lauren and Mike remain by her side every step of the way, currently residing at the Ronald McDonald house in Ann Arbor.
One of the hardest things about this process is knowing how much of a financial burden this will be for two amazing people who had no other intention but to start a loving family of their own. Your love and support would mean the world to all of us directly impacted by this difficult time, but especially to my little fighter of a niece who has yet to experience even the simplest pleasures life has to offer, like taking her first breath.