I was born at Christ Community Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois.
My mom was in labor for 36 hours. 24 of which were in the hospital and 12 hours of hard labor she has told me. On Thursday June 20th, 1974 at 2:00AM I was finally born.
The doctors quickly diagnosed me with Patent Ductis Arteriosus (PDA) and a heart murmur. PDA is the blood vessel the baby uses while still developing that lets blood bypass the lungs since the baby gets all its oxygen from the mother. After birth the valve closes on its own.
Mine did not close. I was placed in an incubator to monitor my difficulty breathing since blood was now being pumped into my lungs. The doctors told my mom I had about 24 hours to live unless the valve closed on its own.
And to make matters worse, a tornado decided to touch ground right by the hospital. All the windows to the nursery were blown out and all the newborns were pushed into the hallways for the rest of their stay. Thank goodness I was in an incubator!!
My 24 hour window passed and the valve had still not closed. My mom has told me that at this time the doctors told her my valve would not close now and I would be gone within 12 hours. Sometime in that next 12 hours my valve did close all on its own and my heart murmur was gone too, much to my moms relief I am sure.
My parents named me Melissa Charlotte. My mom has told my that my father picked it out because it was different. And let me tell you, I grew up HATING my name. I wanted a popular name like all the other girls like Jenny or Amy. And I also refused to tell people my middle name. All the other girls had middle names like Anne or Marie.
But now I am older and wiser, haha. And I no longer have name issues.
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