This is sweet Evie. First child to Michael and Cassidy Hayworth. Evelynn Irene Hayworth arrived into this world early (5 ½ weeks early) on Nov. 24, 2021, at 12:36 a.m. at Allen Hospital in Waterloo.
On Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, at 34 weeks and 2 days of pregnancy, in addition to concerns of high blood pressure and severe feet and ankle swelling, Cassidy didn't notice a lot of movement of the baby. After trying for a couple hours to stimulate the baby, Cassidy decided to call her doctor. At 9:18 p.m., her doctor asked her to go to Allen Hospital in Waterloo for a check at labor and delivery. They arrived around 9:45 p.m. and Cassidy was hooked up for fetal and blood pressure monitoring by 10 p.m. Her blood pressure was high and remained that way. Cassidy's doctor happened to be at the hospital for another delivery, so he came down to perform an ultrasound. He found the baby’s heartbeat but noticed no movement during the 45 minutes he scanned in silence.
He finally shared with Cassidy and Mike that he thinks the baby is very sick, and there is a 95% chance she will be born by C-section tonight. He requested the nurses start to prepare Cassidy by starting an IV and inserting a catheter, while he continued to scan. He officially determined an emergency C-section was necessary at 12:12 a.m. when the baby’s heartrate quickly started to drop. The doctor determined there wasn't time for typical protocols, so general anesthesia would be necessary, which meant that Mike wouldn't be allowed into the operating room as he would be during a standard cesarian section. Mike waited outside the doors of the operating room as Cassidy was wheeled in at 12:21 a.m. on November 24th. The on-call anesthesiologist ran into the OR at 12:26 a.m., 12:32 a.m. the incision was made, and Evie was delivered at 12:36 a.m.!
Evie was unresponsive for 19 minutes. After CPR and 6 shots of epinephrine, her heart started up again. She was quickly life-flighted to UIHC’s Stead Family Children's Hospital in Iowa City for care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) due to her critical condition.
After several weeks of excellent medical care, Evelynn has started beating some of the odds that were first shared with her parents, but there is still a long way to go and many challenges lie ahead. On November 29th, when Evelynn was 5 days old, an MRI was performed and Evie was found to have significant brain damage to most of her brain due to the HIE (hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy). Long term effects are not clear and may not be for some time. They range from extreme disabilities to developmental and educational delays. We can continue to hope for the best but at this point the doctors feel that the severity of the damage shown in the MRI indicates that Evelynn will most likely experience extreme disabilities.
In addition to the brain damage, there was organ damage to Evelynn’s heart, lungs, liver and kidneys, also caused by the lack of blood and oxygen. Thankfully some of that has turned around, but not all. The days are up and down. She'll have a good hour. Then there will be setback. She'll have a good afternoon. Then there's a setback. Evelynn is scheduled for neurosurgery on December 17th to have a ventricular shunt placed to help drain excessive spinal fluid and relieve pressure from her right ventricle. She will have this shunt for her whole life and it will likely require multiple follow-up surgeries for revisions throughout her life.
Cassidy and Michael were originally told that if Evie is ever able to leave the NICU, it could still take anywhere from 4-10 months for her to recover enough to go home. This is what the doctors expect, but she can still prove them wrong. Babies have been surprising medical experts for years.
Michael & Cassidy have been handed a challenge. They are overwhelmed and exhausted from spending several weeks away from home. They are now trying to figure out how life is going to work for them with their daughter in Iowa City. Michael's motto is "one day at a time." They are positive and strong beyond belief.
Many of you know how close we are to the Hayworth family and repeatedly have asked how you can help. We have those same questions each day. We thought the best and easiest way to help (and know we are helping) is by establishing this GoFundMe page. This is a completely catastrophic event and the costs (beyond medical) are substantial - temporary relocation and travel expenses for now, but very likely major additional costs when Evie is released from UIHC. This is likely to include home renovations, specialized medical equipment, and anything else needed as Cassidy and Michael navigate the path forward to make the best life possible for Evie. We are confident that these funds will be able to help with many of those upcoming, life-changing expenses. So please continue the prayers, while you consider helping in this regard and sharing the story of Evie and her fight to all associated with the Hayworth family.
Warm regards and Happy Holidays to all.
Josh & Jessica Schamberger + Brad & Anne Allen