Meet Erin, the 6-month-old baby who has shown that nothing is ever truly impossible in the face of diversity. Emma and Wayne Bates had been trying to conceive for ten years when they received word that they were finally expecting. Baby Erin was born October 8th, 2019. Two months later, on November 29th, they found out that little Erin had a rare & dangerous heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallots. Another month later, on December 23rd, Erin had the much-needed Fallot heart repair surgery and spent a week in intensive care. After only two days in the cardiac ward, she was admitted back to the ICU after contracting RSV, a virus that causes respiratory tract infections. Her lungs ended up collapsing and she was diagnosed with bronchomalacia, the weakening of cartilage in the walls of the bronchial tubes, and tracheomalacia, the narrowing of the airways. It was eventually discovered that she couldn’t breathe without the help of a breathing machine due to the fact that her heart had grown in a way that pushes against her airways. Since then, the parents were told to prepare for an extended stay at the hospital as Erin will have to grow bigger and to see if things work out on their own in a few months’ time. If not, they will try surgery again.
As if things weren’t bad already, on April 10th, Erin contracted the coronavirus, effectively extending her ongoing 4-month stay at the hospital. However, by this point, she is a certified warrior and, despite her life hanging by a thread, the doctors announced that she had pulled through and beaten COVID-19.
Erin’s dad Wayne explained that the virus had hit her hard and there were ups and downs, but it serves as proof that the coronavirus is not a death sentence for people who have other pre-existing conditions. She overcame the problems and is now living with a smile on her face. Throughout this time, only one parent was allowed to stay with the baby at the hospital, and that was Erin’s mother Emma. However, for the first time in a while since the COVID-19 diagnosis, Wayne was finally able to go to the hospital and see his daughter.