Chandler’s Miracle Story


At 38, Debbie knew her pregnancy was high risk, especially since she had previously miscarried. She also knew that UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital was best equipped for any problems that might arise as a result. “We knew Rainbow was the place we would be best served,” said Debbie. “We wanted to be where we knew no matter what, our baby could be accommodated.”

When baby Chandler was born, she put her parents’ confidence in Rainbow to the test. She suffered spina bifida, a rare birth defect in which the spinal cord fails to develop properly. Rarer still, Chandler was born with an almost unheard of ability – she turned blue.

While some babies may turn blue from holding their breath or excessive crying, Chandler was different. Her brain wouldn't trigger a reaction if she stopped breathing. Multiple times a day – in Chandler's case up to 15 times – her breathing would stop, her heart rate would drop drastically and she would have zero brain activity. Then, she would pop back to life.

“There was a whole series of disbelief when Chandler was born,” says Debbie. “We had no idea what was coming down the pike. But I was not about to lose another child.”

Chandler spent the first ten months of her life at Rainbow. During that time, her parents made a new normal, focusing on how to make Chandler better each and every day. Today, she’s a happy and strong-willed 13 year old, determined to not let life get her down. “Rainbow saved my life,” she says. “If Rainbow weren't here, I wouldn't be alive.”

“When we come to Rainbow, we embrace it and we make it all about what we need to do in that moment,” adds Debbie. “And we are thankful to be here.”

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