Home for the Holidays: Joy’s Story

Joy with Mom
Amber Day, right, smiles with her daughter Joy as they prepare to leave MU Health Care's neonatal intensive care unit.

Amber Day was serving as a missionary overseas when her water broke 17 weeks into her pregnancy.

After doctors stabilized her, she and her family flew home to mid-Missouri for specialized care at MU Health Care.

A few weeks later, Joy Day was born via emergency C-section.

 “I remember going to the operating room, thinking, ‘There's no way she could make it,’ ” Amber said.

Joy only weighed 2 pounds, 1 ounce, and her lungs had not properly developed.

“She was very sick,” said Akshaya Vachharajani, MD, neonatologist at Women’s and Children’s Hospital. “She was not able to breathe herself effectively. She had holes in her lungs that required chest tubes to keep her lungs open.”

After nine months of care from our team of doctors, nurses and therapists, Joy was finally able to head home – just in time for her first Thanksgiving.

“Even though it's been a long journey, we've just been so thankful that she's with us still. It's just a miracle,” Amber said.

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