My Poem for Riley

braxton image
Braxton Theriot, Elkhart, Ind.

On a brisk summer morning in the month of July, Mom's water broke and no one knew why.

She lay there on bed rest for nearly a week, but I wanted to see the world, I wanted to take a peek.

At twenty-three weeks that time had come, mom and dad held me, their first born son.

Braxton Michael is what they named me, weighing one pound, one ounce, I was a very tiny baby.

Emergency surgery is needed was what I heard, next I was flying to Riley Hospital for Children high as a bird.

I arrived and Emma gently placed me in an isolette so warm, at first I was nervous but I felt no harm.

Mom and dad got here in a flash and were reunited with their baby at last.

A room at Ronald McDonald House they couldn't afford, but Emily the social worker handled room & board.

It was time for surgery pretty soon, my parents were escorted to the waiting room.

Seconds seemed like minutes as they began to pray, that all the Riley kids be healed without delay.

My second nurse was Ms. Brenda Hook, a special place in our hearts she genuinely took.

Each day with Brenda was so much fun, I definitely feel I am the luckiest one.

Life in the NICU can be pretty tough, on occasion I've faced battles that have been rather rough.

"Baby Braxton the One Pound Warrior" became my nickname, for time after time I always overcame.

The ladies in red became my pals, there are so many good ones it's difficult to choose, but Caryn, Lynn, and Brenda were my three favorite gals.

The doctors here take my care to heart, Dr. Mietzsch and Dr. Allen are off the chart!

From weaning the vent to gaining the pounds, my parents were well informed each morning in rounds.

Pacifiers bouncers, swings.. oh my, days, weeks, and months passed by.

As I got bigger I got stronger too, then out of no where I quit breathing and turned blue.

Nurses, doctors and all the crew, worked to do all they knew.

My parents received heart-wrenching news, that their little baby Braxton they would probably lose.

Labs and tests and bloodwork galore, for days around the clock my room was a revolving door.

Another surgery was needed and we got Dr. West, I give her an A+, feeling so blessed.

Riley Hospital staff never gave up, so neither did I...I was a tough lil' pup.

They all believed in me so I believed in myself too, I wouldn't have made it if it weren't for you.

Kudos, hats off and thanks to the best, for healing me and putting the air back in my chest.

110% I bounced right back, Angela and Brenda made crafts for my family, stack after stack.

Handprints, footprints and so much more, shining light into darkness is what they're here for! As for the crafts, oh the crafts they adore.

19 weeks at Riley - that is quite the stay, but all in all, we wouldn't want it any other way.

Alexis Theriot, Riley Parent

Alexis and her husband Kevin are the parents of Braxton, who was airlifted to Riley Hospital from South Bend, Ind., after he was born at 23 weeks' gestation. Alexis has worked for the past three years as a vocational instructor for ADEC, a company which helps individuals with physical and developmental disabilities. Her husband Kevin is the director of their local Boys and Girls Club. Alexis and Kevin love theme parks, and their true passion is helping others. The family lives in Elkhart, Ind.

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