Avery’s Angels Team
Social Media Team
Bam! There goes gravity… I remember sitting in shocked silence as the doctor highlighted my sweet baby’s little extended loops of bowel and tried to explain to us what the word Gastroschisis meant. I didn’t even know what questions to ask, what I was supposed to think or to do. That’s when I heard the doctor gently offer termination of my pregnancy. Anger flooded in… “No! Absolutely not! This baby is coming into this world!” I will never forget that he told us not to go home and google the word because it would frighten us, unnecessarily. Of course, that’s exactly what we did! We were devastated. Back then, in 2004, social media wasn’t really available and I remember feeling so alone. No one could even pronounce what our sweet Ava was facing, much less understand it. After months of feeling like I very selfishly wanted to keep her safe inside me forever, she went into distress and I went into labor and we were off to face whatever was coming her way. I will never have the right words to express my gratitude for Dr. Morgan of Arnold Palmer Hospital for Women and Children in Orlando, Florida… he was able to perform a primary closure on Ava’s tiny little body and after a 24 day stay in NICU, she got her walking papers. She is now 13 years old and not a day goes by when I don’t think of what a gift she is to the world, and to me. Since then, it’s been a passion of mine to seek out other Gastroschisis parents, especially those still expecting, in order to be of any comfort that I can. When Ava was diagnosed with autism at age 3, it inspired me to go back to school. I had previously majored in Computer Programming, before Ava came along. But after her autism diagnosis, I changed my course and went on to earn dual BAs, one in Applied Behavioral Science and another BA in Special Education. Due to the premature and unexpected death of my late husband, I had to return to work in the computer world where I am now the Director of IT and Social Media for a large landscaping firm. This community of families means so much to me. As the social media coordinator for Avery’s Angels, I mostly work in the background, keeping information moving throughout the organization, but I am always here. It is an honor to be able to assist Avery’s Angels, and all of you, in any way that I can.