Baby Angela released from hospital, mother says she's doing well
After suffering from seizures and being hospitalized for nearly a month, Baby Angela Morales is now home with her family.
Sonia Morales, Angela's mother, told NBC 10 News that she and her husband, Rony, took the 19-month-old home on Tuesday.
"Doctors said that she is well enough to be home," said Sonia, who also noted that while the seizures are under control, nurses will be regularly visiting to check on the baby.
Angela was admitted to Hasbro Children's Hospital on Oct. 15 and transferred to the pediatric intensive care unit about a week later. Not only did she endure seizures, she also battled bronchitis.
"That's why she stayed so long," Sonia said. "She needed oxygen and deep suctioning to move the mucus out. She's coughing a little bit, but she's doing better."
Sonia said Angela hasn't experienced a seizure in at least a few days. Though doctors have not determined a cause, they told Sonia they were likely the result of anencephaly, which is the absence of a major portion of the brain, skull, and scalp that occurs during embryonic development.
When Sonia was 16 weeks pregnant with Angela, doctors informed her of the baby's condition. While she said counselors told her that that most people in her situation choose to have an abortion, Sonia gave birth to Angela on March 23, 2014.
Since then, Sonia and Rony, as well as their older daughter, Elizabeth, 6, said that Angela has been thriving. In addition to defying the odds, as most babies with anencephaly don't live more than a few hours or a couple days, she captured the attention of the nation, as well as many parts of the world.
"Angela is precious," Sonia said. "She's a reminder that every life is precious."
To raise awareness about anencephaly, as well as promote a pro-life message, Sonia created a Facebook account shortly after learning about her poor prenatal diagnosis. More than 17,500 people are following the page.
Sonia said she frequently receives comments and messages from people throughout the globe who tell her Angela's story has enriched their faith. A few women have also told her they decided to keep their babies after experiencing similar diagnoses.
"I get so many beautiful messages of encouragement," said Sonia.
But not all comments are positive.
Sadly, said Sonia, one woman criticized her, calling her selfish for giving birth to Angela. The woman also shared harsh words about the baby.
"She said, 'I'm sorry, but that's the ugliest baby that I have ever seen. You should have aborted her,'" said Sonia, who also noted that a few other people told her she is causing Angela to suffer. "When I read it, I was crying. I was so mad."
The words upset her, but she refused to let anger get the best of her. Instead, she decided to pray.
"I just forgive them," Sonia said. "I feel very sorry for people who make bad comments about our baby because they have to live with that hate. They need our prayers because they need love. Angela is missing part of her brain, but she is loving life. She smiles when we talk to her and she knows she's loved. She is beautiful the way God made her."
According to Sonia, Angela is an advocate for the anencephaly community, as well as all people with disabilities. She is also educating doctors, said Sonia, as Angela's case is rare.
"Angela is challenging all the doctors," she said. "They are learning. She is the voice for other babies who have anencephaly. We don't know how we can treat these children, but Angela is teaching the medical community and contributing to society."
Sonia went on to praise the medical staff at Hasbro for the care and support they've given her family during the last month.
"I'm very grateful for the medical team at Hasbro because they are so compassionate," Sonia said.
Despite the fact that Angela's hospitalization was emotionally and physically draining, the Morales family said the experience is a reminder of how strong their love for one other truly is. They are grateful for the opportunity to raise awareness about the sanctity of life.
"We give thanks to God because from all the parents in the world, He chose us to be her parents," said Sonia. "Angela came to our lives to change the way we were living. Now, we don't take anything for granted. Life is so short, and Angela shows me and my husband that we need to live life to the fullest."
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