Early tests on Jeff and Lynel Willis’ unborn baby revealed serious neural tube defects. Doctors advised the heartbroken mother and father to “interrupt the pregnancy” – a medical way of saying abort – because the fetus wouldn’t survive the pregnancy.
10 years later, they’re really glad they didn’t.
When Haley Willis was born – on her actual due date – friends, family members, and doctors were surprised. However, the medical team tempered their hope and told Jeff and Lynel to take baby Haley home with them and enjoy her as long as they could, two weeks by their estimate.
But the tiny infant defied the odds yet again.
Though she was still alive weeks later, the road ahead of her would prove to be an uphill one. The neural tube defect cheated her out of a third of her brain mass. What brain matter she did have grew in a sack called an “encephalocele” and was “disorganized.” She was in need of a shunt to relieve pressure on her brain, but one neurosurgeon they visited wouldn’t perform the treatment because he considered it a waste of time.
That’s right. Helping this tiny human was deemed a “waste of time.”
They finally found a physician who partnered with them to stabilize Haley’s condition. Several months later, she received the necessary shunt which was the first in a long line of major procedures to better her health.
A decade later, Haley’s life looks very different. The elementary school student functions on a very high level and even helps others. Those who know her say she wins over a room when she walks into it, and she and her mom have even given lectures for special education teachers on the campus of Southern Illinois University.
Not bad for a 3rd grader who was supposed to be dead by now.
Her parents named her Haley Faith Willis because they knew they were “having her out of faith.” They know that, “God was showing His glory through something as little as this baby. We were just along for the ride.”
Everyone who knows Haley is glad that ride didn’t get “interrupted” before it began.
Click here for the online report.
Topics Illustrated Include:
(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)