Meet the 1lb 2oz miracle child that was born at only six months old. Christina Radley, a newborn, spent her first 102 days in the neonatal ICU. Her proud parents, Maria and Jonathan Radley, want to thank the staff and service at University Hospital Cork for everything they did for her as she prepares to celebrate her first birthday. “It’s incredible to think of everything Christina had to go through to get to where she is today.
“We never imagined that we’d be bringing her home. She is a miracle child, as we all know. She was saved by medical science, cutting-edge equipment, and the incredibly gifted people who looked after her.”
On June 18, Maria, 32, and Jonathan, 38, of Cappoquin, County Waterford, will host the Big Walk for Little Lives. It supports Bru Columbanus, a service that offers in-home lodging for family of patients at Cork hospital, as well as the neonatal ICU of CUMH. To be close to Christina, the Radleys spent 99 nights there, spending thousands of dollars if they had to.
In order to represent the days Christina spent in the hospital and the nonstop care she got, The Big Walk For Little Lives will walk 102 kilometers in 24 hours. We feel that raising funds for the foundations and the hardworking individuals who work there is the least we can do because we will never be able to express our gratitude to them in enough words. When Maria’s early pregnancy ultrasound revealed that her baby was very little, the incredible narrative of the family began. It’s incredible to consider Christina’s current situation in light of the challenges she encountered in her early years.
To keep her lungs open, she uses a CPAP machine that continuously administers oxygen. To administer feeding and medicine, a line is put over the umbilical cord of the patient. A group of advisors, comprising pharmacists, occupational therapists, radiologists, physical therapists, and counselors, works twice daily. She had a blood transfusion at the age of three days to boost her body’s oxygen levels. She gets eight brain ultrasounds to track fluid from bruising and blood clots in the brain, as well as six echocardiograms to check for an open heart tube and a hole in the heart.
She had her eyes examined at 31 weeks to make sure that her vision was not being affected by oxygen dependency. Holding preterm babies is incredibly energy-intensive for the tiny baby, thus doctors carefully assess Maria and Jonathan’s ability to do so only sometimes for little periods of time. After 84 days, Christina was able to stop taking oxygen, and 94 days later, she was no longer in need of tube feeding. After 102 days in CUMH, she was transferred home, where she met her brother William, then 11 years old. Maria claims that William adores his dutiful and well-adjusted sister, who has grown up in good health.
She is a beautiful baby who naps all night long and is quite peaceful. As of right now, it doesn’t seem that she has any known problems as a result of her early start. Time will tell if she has developmental issues or not. She is currently carrying out all required tasks. We merely feel tremendously fortunate and appreciative. One day in the ICU, a baby who was lying next to Christina didn’t make it. She is indeed a miracle child, as many people have stated.