Chloe, now 19, has been the best tour guide life could’ve handed me! My pregnancy with her wasn’t average – she was born almost a month premature and doctors knew from testing in utero that there were complications that required specialized pediatric staff. Needless to say, a whole team of folks greeted Chloe Elisabeth when she came into the world just after midnight on April Fool’s Day.
Several days later, I was released from the hospital, but Chloe wasn’t. I didn’t even know something like that was possible! During her first few weeks of life, she was diagnosed with two atrial septal defects, hypothermia and pyloric stenosis. That’s a mouthful, isn’t it? Her pyloric stenosis required immediate corrective surgery and her pediatrician suspected and tested for Williams Syndrome. Although the doctors wanted to confirm WS before surgery, testing had not let come back from the lab. As a result, Chloe was given a very slim chance at surviving this surgery due to her size (just over 4 pounds), her two heart defects and the fact that very little was known about WS and many patients’ attempt at surgeries result in cardiac arrest. So, those were some odds.
Looking back on it now, I never really thought about how strong that made her and what a fighter she really was because all I could focus on was the fact that she MADE IT. I say all the time that Chloe really truly is magical. She has this uncanny ability to remove barriers without even thinking about it — she just LOVES and LIVES life to the fullest. Although her baby days were a struggle she grew into this amazingly wonderful young lady that makes the world around her question what life with a disability actually looks like. Chloe’s life is FULL. She is a sophomore at Vanderbilt University, a competitive figure skater, a yoga enthusiast and lately she’s been dabbling in high fashion modeling. I don’t know about you, but if that isn’t BOLDLY questioning the capability of a person I don’t know what is. Chloe shows us all that life without boundaries – by societal expectations (which let’s face it AREN’T realistic) can be so beautiful, so meaningful and so inspirational. This gorgeous girl is HERE – look out world!