Wednesday, May 18, 2011
When Signal Mountain resident Nichole McGowan experienced heartburn and what felt like an oncoming cold while six months pregnant with her daughter Kyra, her first child, she and her husband Brian were shocked to learn her baby would need to be delivered immediately in order to save both their lives.
The shocks just kept coming.
Community Baptist Church and Signal Mountain Baptist Church are organizing “A Celebration of Miracles” at Bachman Community Center to celebrate the continuation of the lives of Kyra and Nichole McGowan and raise funds for the family, which is now faced with unfathomable medical bills.
The festivities to be held Saturday, May 21 from noon to 6 p.m. include bluegrass and gospel music, games, crafts for kids and a cake walk. A silent auction will also be held featuring items donated by local businesses and residents.
Hot dogs and chilli will be served, and Brian’s mother Wanda McGowan said door prizes to include a new grill and salon services will be given away every 30 minutes.
McGowan’s initial surgery was due to preeclampsia, a condition which sometimes occurs during pregnancy, typically on the first child, in which a woman’s body basically rebels because it recognizes the husband’s DNA as foreign and the baby as a foreign object that shouldn’t be there.
“The only way to stop it is to deliver the baby,” said McGowan, who gave birth to her daughter Kyra prematurely by C-section the day before Thanksgiving, just three days after receiving the traumatic diagnosis. “After I had the baby they said it would be gone, but it just kept hurting worse and worse.”
She had developed an infection in her abdomen unrelated to the preeclampsia that required her wound to be left open for days while the infection was removed. She was put into a medically induced coma and awoke just before Christmas.
Meanwhile Kyra, born weighing 1 pound, I ounce, had problems with her still-undeveloped lungs and remained in the Neonatal lntensive Care Unit.
Brian McGowan stood by with his other children Heath, 10, and Mallie, 7, as his wife and baby bordered on death.
“It’s hard when you’ve known every day you can talk to someone, then all of a sudden the only way you can communicate is by squeezing their hand,” he said. “It comes to a point there’s really nothing you can do, so you keep faith and know it’s going to work out.”
Nichole McGowan began to recover after being put on dialysis. She woke up from the coma and took her first steps on Christmas Eve and was later released Jan. 8.
Kyra, still so tiny she could wear her father’s wedding ring as a bracelet, remained in the hospital until April due to complications with her lungs. She was readmitted to Children’s Hospital at Erlanger due to a virus and should be able to go home within the next week, according to her parents.
Bachman Community Center is at 2815 Anderson Pike.