Passions: Melissa Eick
Now that I'm in my 30's, I've been really thinking about what goes into having a child. The nurturing, the teaching, the patience and most importantly, being selfless. That's where I get hung up. I like to think that I'm compassionate toward others and try to be there for people. But do I have that trait to be completely selfless with my own child? I recently went to the home of Melissa Eick to experience true selflessness. Melissa is a dedicated and devoted mother to her daughter Maura. She was born with more complications than any child deserves and has been through more in her 2 years than most adults have in their whole lives. During my visit, Melissa showed me the process of mixing Maura's sustaining medicines and their applications. It was humbling to talk with someone so devoted to their child and I want to thank her and Maura for having me.
Tell me a little bit about your passion in life.
My passion is to be the best mom that I can to Maura, to make sure she knows she is loved. To help her thrive to her best ability. To look at everything with the most positive outlook possible and to make sure each new day is the best day.
It really shows in the care you provide for her also in the interaction you have with her. Can you tell me about Maura’s condition?
Maura was born premature at 24 weeks gestation weighing 1lb 8oz. She was diagnosed with chronic lung disease, IVH (Intraventricular hemorrhage-brain bleeds) then shortly after developed pulmonary hypertension. She started her journey at St. Lukes and then transferred at 3 months old to CHOP, spending all of her days fighting her hardest fight, but with her cute little smile always shining. She received a trach and gtube at 7 months old. She is ventilator and oxygen dependent. After 648 days Maura was finally discharged from CHOP to finally start her new journey at home
A few photos of Melissa mixing medicine and changing Maura's medicine pump. This is done every other day. Also a few photos of her changing a dressing. This is done once a week.
That’s incredible, she’s such a strong kid to have gone through so much in such a short time. How has caring for her effected your day to day life?
I dropped everything in my life the day I gave birth to Maura. At first I had hopes that I would eventually be able to get back to my “normal routine” but as time passed and things got more complicated with her health I knew where I needed to be and that was with her. Now that she’s home, things are still hard. I can’t just put her in the car and decide to go to the park, I can’t even pick her up and walk room to room in our house without unplugging and dragging her ventilator, feed pump, pulse ox, central line pump along with us. Doing things with Maura takes lots of detailed planning and prepping... nothing is spur of the moment. So we spend most of our time at home. But I’m hoping once the weather is nicer we will be able to at least plan for some walks outside and maybe spending some afternoons on the deck instead of cooped up in the house. We also have home nursing to help me with the night shifts, which is really helpful.
I couldn’t even imagine such a sudden life change, that must have been a complete whirlwind. What are your hopes for Maura’s future?
My hopes for Maura are for her to live her happiest life. To reach all of her developmental goals, to prove the odds wrong. To grow up knowing anything is possible. To never stop fighting. To one day not be attached to wires and tubing. I have all the hopes in the world for Maura's future, and I know that she will be the best she can be.