A Maryland baby who shocked her parents and medical team after continuing to survive despite being taken off life support following a cardiac arrest is expected to celebrate her first birthday in two weeks on August 25.
Little baby Phoenix was born with a rare but serious heart defect called double outlet right ventricle. Her weakened heart cannot properly circulate oxygen throughout her body. At just two months old, Phoenix underwent two palliative heart surgeries and had a medical shunt placed in her heart to help her live.
Then, at seven months, she "started bleeding profusely from her nose. During the drive to the emergency room she turned blue and stopped breathing."
Phoenix's mother, Monique Goldring, told the media that she thought Phoenix was going to die but brought her baby to the hospital where Phoenix lived on life support for the next month. Doctors told the mother that her child had extensive brain damage from the cardiac arrest. After the four weeks, the medical team also suggested that Phoenix be taken off life support since she was working so hard just to barely breathe.
The mother agreed, but as the day went on it became clear that the baby was going to live. Six hours passed, and "from that point on, she just continued to thrive," according to Goldring.
However, doctors told the mother that Phoenix will likely not survive the two remaining palliative surgeries needed to help her heart defect. The baby will also outgrow her shunt soon. This means that Goldring has to find a doctor willing to take the risk to operate on her baby, despite the potential risks of death.
However, Goldring says her daughter encourages her to press on and be courageous.
"Falling apart about it is not going to change the circumstances,” she said. "She’s clearly not falling apart about it, so I get my strength from her daily."
"I’m just elated," Goldring added. "I don’t know what the future is, but I’m excited for what’s to come...I still have my baby with me...I didn’t think I would be able to see that milestone."