Our Story

Written by Renee Donoghue mother of Hannah
Tom and I were married on July 13, 1991 at St. Henry in Erlanger, KY.  It was such a great day. 
 We could not possibly imagine the many challenges God had planned for us.
Like every married couple we planned to have children in a couple of years once we bought a house.  You know the usual plans of a happy couple.
It would prove to be difficult for us to have our first child.  I had some severe scarring from a ruptured appendix when I was 17.  I was scheduled to have surgery in May 1994 to clean up the scar tissue and (as the Doctor said) give us a 30% chance of conceiving a child.  But God had a better plan.   Before I could have the surgery, I found out I was pregnant.  We were so excited.

Almost immediately I started having problems.  I would have bleeding and protein in my urine almost monthly.  I must have had 6 ultrasounds by October.  The baby was due on January 19, 1995 but on October 7, 1994 my water broke and on October 13th I gave birth to our son, Tommy.  He weighed just 1lb 12oz and was 13.5inches long.  We were in shock.  He lost weight and weighed as little as 1lb 7oz.

Tommy October 14, 1994 
Tommy would be in the hospital for 4 - 1/2 months.  On December 4, he developed a lung and blood infection and his heart stopped but they were able to revive him.  He was given less than a 5% chance to live and we were told to prepare ourselves to stop life support.  The Doctors did all they could and told us to pray.  We prayed and had everyone we knew pray.  He lay near death for almost three weeks.  But on Christmas Eve he began to improve, we were able to hold him and by New Year's Eve he was drinking from a bottle.
Tommy finally came home from the hospital on February 28, 1995.  He spent years having physical therapy to recover from his pre-mature birth.
Our family moved to Mason, OH in May 1999 and discovered I was pregnant shortly after moving in.  That pregnancy ended in mis-carriage on July 13 our 8th wedding anniversary.  By the end of the year, we were happy to learn that we were expecting a baby in August 2000.
What a perfect pregnancy I had.  Hannah was due on August 27, 2000.  After spending the night of the 27th having contractions, we went to the hospital early in the morning on August 28 and at 11:41am by emergency c-section Hannah was born.  She had to have some excitement in the delivery room.  Her umbilical cord was wrapped around her legs so a c-section had to be performed.
She was so beautiful weighing a whopping 6lbs 6oz and she was 21 inches long. 
There was just one problem.  Hannah always seemed to have a runny nose and a cough.  She would have mysterious fevers that would come and go.
She was drinking a quart of formula a day by the time she was 4 months old and always had these horrible smelling diapers.  In November, right before I returned to work I took her to the Doctor for a cough. 
By mid-January, she was having severe bouts of diarrhea and reflux.  She developed a serious respiratory infection and was put on steroids and several rounds of antibiotics. After a few trips to the emergency room, pneumonia and finally a partially collapsed lung we were desperate for her to be well.  By February the antibiotics had her well enough for her to get her six month well check up.  Our Family Doctor (Thaddeus Bort) a great Doctor and Christian having been through Tommy's birth and all his health problems knew our family well.  He could tell that Tom and I were not happy with Hannah's health and referred us to a Pulmonologist.
As soon as the Pulmonologist heard her history, he suggested she be tested for cystic fibrosis.  I had always thought Hannah tasted salty but just figured it was some post partum mom stuff.  On February 21, 2001 our beautiful baby girl was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.  I took the call from the Doctor and can remember sliding to the floor because I felt that I was going to fall.  I knew I had to stay calm to hear all his words.  We took her in the next day to learn about pancreatic enzymes and how to perform chest physio therapy to clear the lungs of the mucus. 
 See our home page to read all about cystic fibrosis.
 click on Life after the Diagnosis to learn  more