Brian and Jen Schuld of Wisconsin Rapids have a picture of their eight-year-old daughter, McKenzie, on their refrigerator with the caption "Our Miracle." Their miracle was a chain of events that gave them the beautiful, sweet, caring daughter that brightens each day.
Their story began on July 7, 2003, when their daughter was born by c-section at Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital, weighing a mere 1 lb. 10.8 ounces. She was immediately taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). She was able to breath on her own for the first 20 minutes, but because her lungs were so underdeveloped, she was placed on a respirator.
When McKenzie was two days old, she was not expected to make it through the night. But her will to live and the miracles that surrounded her pulled her through.
At one week of age, and slightly over two pounds, Jen was able to hold her daughter briefly for the first time. Throughout the next week, McKenzie continued to struggle to stay alive. Brian first held her at one month of age and weighing only 2 lbs. 8.8 ounces.
In a special CMN funded book, Jen recorded McKenzie's daily progress, which at times seemed slow, but major milestones continued to encourage the Schuld's that their daughter would survive. One of those milestones occurred when McKenzie was just over seven weeks old. Her respirator tube was removed and she was able to breathe on her own for six hours. This was the first time that Brian and Jen Schuld saw their daughter without tubes.
Finally on October 7, at the age of three months, McKenzie came home weighing 6 lbs. 3.4 ounces.
"By the grace of God she had the strength and will to survive," said Jen. "The good Lord surrounded her with an awesome team of professionals that were able to give her the care she needed. He also gave us an amazing support system that allowed us to stay strong throughout her medical ordeal."
"One of the contributing factors to her survival," continued Jen, "included CMN that provided equipment and donations that help families, like ours, in need during times of crisis."
McKenzie is in the third grade at Woodside Elementary School. She is big sister to Mason and Luke. She enjoys reading, playing with family, riding bike, swimming, crafts and art. Jen added, "She is an inspiration to us and we cherish every moment with her."