Gracie and Lily's Story

Posted on: in [ Placed Dogs ]

Gracie and Lily Have Graduated!

Gracie and Lily were placed together in October 2017. Since Lily's placement, Gracie has become more independent out in public and doesn't require her parents to constantly hold on to her. 

Lily's presence also makes Gracie a bit more popular at school functions. Her peers find Lily to be a cool friend for Gracie. Hear more about Gracie's story from her family's perspective below, and leave a comment congratulating Gracie and Lily on their placement!

We’d like to tell you a little about our Gracie. She was born without complication on September 27th 2004. Like most newborns, she was sent home at 2 days old. Slightly jaundice and not the greatest eater, but healthy. Or so we thought. At 6 days old, Gracie was awake but unresponsive. After consulting with our pediatrician over the phone, she was transported to Children’s Hospital of East Tennessee. Within minutes there were several medical professionals attending to our little girl, Gracie had fallen into a coma. She was treated throughout the night for what they thought was meningitis, but on the morning of the second day, another doctor was brought in and it was determined that Gracie had a metabolic disorder that prevented her little body from breaking down protein. This caused a toxic buildup of ammonia in our girl causing her to slip into a coma. A feeding tube was put in, she was hooked to a hemo filtration machine to filter the ammonia out of her blood. The outlook wasn’t very good, but God was! After 6 days of being in a coma, she woke up. The doctors were still very guarded on the outlook. We were told that her condition was treatable with medication and a specialized diet, but the only “cure” was for her to have a liver transplant. However, the neurologist told us that the damage to her brain had already been done and that she would likely never walk or talk and may in fact be a “vegetable”. I’ll tell you now and expand on it later, he was wrong!!

Gracie’s “second” birthday came on February 8th 2006. After being called and flying back and forth to Philadelphia, Pa. three different times for 4 potential donors, a forth phone call came and Gracie got her new liver. She was about 16 months old. The next 3-4 years found us splitting time almost evenly between the hospital and home. Gracie had several other surgical procedures unrelated to her liver transplant. She went on a Make a Wish trip the summer of her 3rd year. It had been a rough year! Multiple hospitalizations, a cancer scare, just a rough year. But God touched our girl and shortly after her 4th birthday our girl began to walk. Praise God!

Fast forward about 7 years and here we are. Gracie has been diagnosed with Autism. Gracie is still tube fed, she is still walking all the time! God has not given her the ability to speak. At least not in the manner that you’d think. Several years ago, Gracie started to find ways to communicate and over time, we've incorporated some mechanical communication devices and some sign language (that she understands, but cannot perform due to a lack of fine motor skills). Gracie has amazed us time and again!! She understands so much and is incredibly intelligent.