It’s only a few days ago when I first discussed the importance of people with disabilities on television. Well, it happened again last Thursday. It was a feature story detailing the courageous story of the Edward family and their two premature births. At 27 and a half weeks, doctors were forced to deliver little AJ. Why so early? His mother had developed a life threatening condition called Hellp Syndrome. According to doctors, this syndrome is a cluster of pregnancy complications that attack the blood as well as the liver. AJ spends over a hundred days in the hospital before returning home with his family. After a brain ultrasound, something seems wrong. Doctors prepare the Edwards for the possibility of problems in the future.
After such a daunting experience, the couple debates trying to have another child. While they are concerned that the condition will occur again, doctors reassure them the possibility of it much smaller and less dangerous than before. So they proceed on ahead.
After just twenty-four weeks of pregnancy, Jada’s blood pressure rises. The Hellp Syndrome was back. Born 16 weeks premature, Alexa weighed less than a pound. Alexa also spends over a hundred days in the hospital before being sent home.
As a result, A. J. developed cerebral palsy. He eats some regular food, but primarily has to be fed through a tube in his stomach. On the other hand, Alexa suffered no effects because of the premature birth.
Citation for TV Program: “Smallest Survivors” News segment Carmen Harlan reporting, NBC channel 4 WDIV Detroit, News at 11 pm, February 28, 2007.