Baby boy comes home

March 24, 2009 3:20:03 PM PDT
It's the day a Plainfield family has waited 10 months to enjoy. Their infant son has come home from the hospital. The child has undergone several surgeries to make this day happen.

Michael Gillespie was born with a rare congenital defect.

While he still has a tough road ahead, today is a celebration for Michael's family.

The number of hurdles baby Michael had overcome to get to this point are countless. He's spent his life so far in a natal intensive care unit.

His parents stayed with him as much as they could but still had to work.

Both parents and doctors are calling Michael a miracle baby.

It took nearly 10 months to get little Michael Gillespie to the nursery his mom Keri so painstakingly painted for him last year.

But on Tuesday something most parents take for granted, bringing their new baby home from the hospital, has finally come true.

"He's a miracle. It's unbelievable. We're so thankful for that. There were a couple of times where we thought we were going to lose him," said Greg Gillespie, Michael's father.

Michael was born with a rare congenital defect. His intestinal organs, liver, spleen and stomach grew in a sac outside his body, called an omphalacele. Michael also has a heart defect and his lungs were not fully developed because he was born 10 weeks premature.

In his short life, he's already spent months on life support and had to endure several major surgeries.

"Back in July, he wasn't even full term, they had to re-intubate him. He coded three times that night. It wasn't looking good," said Keri Gillespie, Michael's mother.

"He just kept coming through and coming through. And now he's stronger than he's ever been," said Greg Gillespie.

On Tuesday, it was time for the staff at Naperville's Edward Hospital to say goodbye. The nurses have become so attached to Michael they brought him cake.

Dr. Rajeev Dixit, one of his many doctors, says most babies with this condition don't make it to see this day.

"As his lung get bigger and bigger he will be able to tolerate being more independent. Over the next two, three years he will recover to be a healthy child," said Dr. Rajeev Dixit, Edward Hospital, Naperville.

But Michael still faces other hurdles. He can't eat normally and will likely develop slower than other children.

"He's going to need oxygen and a G tube to feed him on the side of his stomach. I know it sounds traumatic and scary but after what we've been through we're just happy to take him home," said Keri Gillespie.

Michael is already enjoying being home. His dad said it best saying he's experiencing sensory overload with so many new things to see and do.