|NO MIRACLE |
By AZARD ALI Friday, March 4 2016
IN THE end, there was to be no miracle.
After a six-week battle for life, baby Miracle Cross breathed her last and gave up the fight lying on a cot during the early morning hours yesterday at the San Fernando General Hospital. For her, it was simply a waiting game, as feverish attempts were made both at home and abroad, to raise roughly US$200,000 to fund an overseas trip for surgery to repair congenital defects to her tiny heart.
“The miracle that we prayed for...
the miracle we needed for our Miracle was not to be,” cried Chrystal Cross in a brief interview yesterday.
Chrystal said she and her husband Kerwin were at their daughter’s side when she closed her eyes for the last time, at 3.13 in the morning.
Nurses at the hospital wept as news spread that baby Miracle was gone. Hours later, as the family consoled each other at their Duncan Village home, the phone rang.
The caller was from the Children’s Life Fund Authority, who brought news that the Cross’ application for funds for their baby’s trip to the Boston Children’s Hospital in the United States, had been approved.
She was to have been flown to Boston next week for surgery.
On the morning of February 4, Trinidad and Tobago awoke to a photo of baby Miracle across the front page of Newsday’s edition, above the headline: ‘HELP ME’.
What followed was an outpouring of love, prayers and promises of help from readers. The reaction was similar with our online readers with persons from Canada and the United States calling Newsday’s offices seeking more information and contact numbers for baby Miracle’s parents.
Ever since she was born on January 18, baby Miracle’s home was the San Fernando General Hospital.
Her mother tearfully recalled the family’s twice-daily trip to the hospital.
She spoke of telephone calls from well-wishers, of liaising with the DeHix Foundation in Chicago and the Caribbean Children’s Foundation in Canada. “We thought we were going to make it and our baby Miracle fought hard,” dad Kerwin said. He revealed that as baby Miracle began to take her final breaths, both Chrystal and Kerwin kissed the cheeks of their daughter as they bade her a final, tearful goodbye.
“As they called us to say the funding was approved, it was good news from the Life Fund, but good news which came too late,” Kerwin said.
Miracle was born with Cyanotic Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD), a medical condition which causes low levels of oxygen in the blood. Heart surgery was the only option to save Miracle’s life. But such surgery is not done in this country. Dennis Hicks of the DeHix Foundation in the US, read the story online and contacted the Cross family. Editor-in-Chief of the Independent Newspaper in Toronto, Canada and founder of Caribbean Children’s Foundation Raynier Maharaj, also contacted the family. The necessary documents were sent to the Cross family from the Boston Children’s Hospital.
Doctors who cared for Miracle at SFGH had already written up the required medical notes and provided same to the parents for submission to the Boston hospital.
Only last week, Kerwin said, he had been liaising with Raynier Maharaj as a back-up plan, for Miracle to be flown to Canada if the trip to Boston fell through. Struggling to hold back his tears, Kerwin thanked Newsday for highlighting his daughter’s plight, he thanked well-wishers, he thanked the doctors who kept their hopes high and he thanked God, for the six weeks he had with baby Miracle.
About two weeks ago, doctors summoned the parents to the hospital and advised that Miracle’ s blood count was dangerously low.
A blood transfusion was done and the baby’s health condition improved. Both parents kept in regular contact with officials of the Children’s Life Fund at the Mt Hope Medical Sciences Complex.
Kerwin related to Newsday, his last moments with Miracle. “We received a call at about midnight on Wednesday, from the hospital.
They asked us to come because Miracle was hooked up to a ventilator.
When we reached, we stayed with her and then at three o’clock, doctors told us she was not responding positively to the ventilator.
At 3.13 am, she breathed her last breath. She fought for a long time but Miracle could not wait any longer,” Kerwin said.
Contacted for comment, DeHix founder Dennis Hicks said Miracle had touched the hearts of many in unexplainable ways. For him, the only consolation was that she was no longer in any pain. “We know our desires were not met, but we tried,” Hicks said. Funeral arrangements are continuing.