Former Children's Mercy NICU patient shows maturity beyond her years

May 16, 2019 - 6:53 am
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Kansas City, MO - A Metro couple did not know what would become of their baby after she was born with a rare condition.

Yet after a life-saving surgery at Children's Mercy Hospital, Ansley, now 12 years old, is healthy and happy and full of life.

Stan Ross reveals that Ansley was not a planned pregnancy. He and his wife, Merett, already had children. Their youngest when Ansley was born, was already 17.  

"We call her our bonus baby," Stan said. "She has been that for us. We can't be more thrilled to spend time with her and see what a great young gal she's turned out to be."

During Merett's pregnancy, they learned that their baby had Gastroschisis, a condition in which the child's intestines are on the outside of her abdomen, and would need life-saving surgery within hours of birth.


GO INSIDE THE NICU

 

The doctor who was scheduled to perform the surgery had gone on a short vacation.  And then Merett went into labor.

"Merett's doctor said, I don't know where you're at and what your plans are, but you're going to have this baby this weekend," Stan said.

Ansley was born at Overland Park Regional Medical Center, but after about five minutes, an ambulance rushed the newborn to Children's Mercy, which is the region's only Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

It was nearly seven weeks before Ansley was able to go home.

 

Listen to the Cover Story: What's new in the NICU?
 

 

Twelve years later, Ansley is a happy, healthy, confident girl.

Ansley likes typical girl stuff, like makeup and hairdos, but her dad said she has a wild, adventurous side, too.  "She'll go fishing with me, hunting with me, hunting with me, backpacking," Stan said. "She'll get as dirty as my boy ever did."
 

 

Ansley's neonatal surgery left her with permament abdominal scars. Doctors fashioned an artificial belly button. She remains comfortable in her appearance, even in bikini season. God makes each of us a little different, she tells her parents.

Ansley is mature and ambitious. She raised $30,000 by herself when she was 10, selling autographed hats at a golf tournament. She donated all the money to Children's Mercy, and continues to raise funds. 

Ansley also volunteers to speak with parents whose children are facing the same diagnosis she had. 

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