Growing a Miracle

Miracle Brown

Miracle Brown and Grandmother Aretha Edwards Miracle Brown and Grandmother Aretha Edwards

Aretha Edwards thought she had four more months to prepare for the arrival of her granddaughter. But when Edwards’ daughter went into premature labor, what should have been a joyful occasion became a medical emergency.

“The baby weighed one pound, seven ounces,” Edwards recalls. “I could have held her in the palm of my hand.”

But there was no chance for Edwards to hold her granddaughter. Minutes after the baby was born at Delta Regional Medical Center in Greenville, Mississippi, she was airlifted to the neonatal intensive care unit at Children’s of Mississippi. As the helicopter took flight with its tiny, fragile cargo, Edwards’ daughter said, “I’m going to name the baby Miracle.”

Miracle would spend the next 13 months in the Children’s of Mississippi NICU, fighting to live up to her name. Her family made the two-hour trip from Greenville to visit their tiny Miracle at least once a week.

“Those visits to the NICU were all about hope,” Edwards says. “You say a silent prayer for every baby there because your baby is there. You know what it’s like for all the parents, having to scrub up and put on a hospital gown just to touch that tiny finger. And when Miracle moved her little fingers or toes, it was life. We knew she had feelings beyond all those tubes and machines.”

As the one-year anniversary of Miracle’s unexpected arrival approached, the NICU staff called Edwards with a special request.

“They asked if they could give Miracle a birthday party. The staff planned the whole thing. All we had to do was show up. When we got there, they had a special room filled with pink princess decorations, gifts, and a birthday cake. And after they did all of that, the NICU doctors and nurses thanked us for being there. Just like we had a year ago when Miracle was born, we shed tears, but this time, they were tears of joy.”

One month after her first birthday, Miracle went home. She still sees specialists at Children’s for regular check-ups, but today, Miracle’s visits to the NICU are purely for the pleasure of being reunited with the doctors and nurses who saved her.

“I took her by for a visit, and all the nurses came out to see her,” Edwards says. “They were crying and saying, ‘Miracle’s here!’ Even though she’s not a patient in the NICU anymore, Miracle is still on the hearts and minds of those who cared for her. Words cannot express how grateful we are to those doctors and nurses. I still pray every day for the NICU staff. To see the love they have for those tiny patients and their families is awesome. When she’s older, I’ll tell Miracle about all the obstacles she had to overcome and about all the people at Children’s of Mississippi who helped her live up to her name.”

Aretha Edwards

"You build a relationship with the NICU doctors and nurses. You aren’t just another parent, and your baby isn’t just another child. To see the love the doctors and nurses have for those tiny patients and their families is awesome."

— ARETHA EDWARDS

Edwards' granddaughter, Miracle Brown, spent the first 13 months of her life in the Children's of Mississippi NICU.

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