PEI

P.E.I. preemie back home and grinning 'ear to ear'

Paizlee Rose Adams, who weighed just one pound when she was born about four months premature, has finally come home.

Paizlee Rose Adams spent the first 6 months of her life in hospital

Andy Adams and Emily McCardle say Paizlee always wakes up with a smile. (Sarah Keaveny-Voss/CBC)

Paizlee Rose Adams, who weighed just one pound when she was born about four months premature, has finally come home.

After spending the first six months of her life in hospital, she is now waking up in her own crib.

And every morning, her father says, she wakes up with a smile that makes her parents melt.

"It's probably the best part of our day," Andy Adams said from their Summerside home.  

"No matter if she had a bad night or a good night, she just wakes up every morning with a smile. Just like a big grin ear to ear."

Adams says having Paizlee home means he and Paizlee's mom, Emily McCardle are finally starting to feel even more like parents.

She makes it extremely hard to just have a bad day.— Andy Adams

They can hug her anytime they want, and play with her on the floor. Even though she is only coming up on her corrected age of three months, she can roll over both ways, they proudly say.

"It's just amazing every day just watching the little tiny things that she is discovering," Adams said.

"She makes it extremely hard to just have a bad day."

Andy Adams says Paizlee was 'stronger than her dad was most days.' (Sarah Keaveny-Voss/CBC)

It's a long way from the early days at the IWK Hospital in Halifax, when they had to learn to nurture their daughter before they could even touch her. McCardle remembers a feeling of helplessness.

"There really was nothing that we could do for her because she was in such a critical state the first few days. Her skin, you could hardly even touch it, it was just paper thin and all the contact you could have with her was a finger on her, you couldn't rub her, just touch her and untouch her kind of thing."

Paizlee Rose Adams weighed just one pound when she was born at 23 weeks on April 25. (Submitted by Emily McCardle)

Today, Paizlee is still only nine pounds, three ounces, about four pounds lighter than an average three-month-old.

Though she coos softly, Paizlee is still unable to laugh or cry. Her vocal cords were damaged from complications during surgery to close a hole in her heart.  

Gentle sounds

McCardle said they love hearing the gentle sounds Paizlee can make. 

"I think if she had a voice she'd be laughing," McCardle said. "Just all the small things that she's accomplishing it's amazing to watch. It definitely makes me love being a mom."

McCardle said doctors told her the cords are expected to heal and Paizlee should have a voice by the time she can learn to talk.

At her 'corrected age' of about three months, Paizlee can already roll over both ways. (Sarah Keaveny-Voss/CBC)

"She's just been through so much you know and it was definitely scary, it was a scary time but to see her pull through how she did and it's just mind boggling how she's so resilient," Adams said.

"She's stronger than her dad was most days I can tell you that."

Andy Adams and Emily McCardle play with Paizlee in their Summerside home on Wednesday. (Sarah Keaveny-Voss/CBC)

Mom and dad are just glad to have the family together at home, especially in time for Christmas.

"Santa couldn't have a gift even close to the gift she is," Adams said.

"It's going to be a very special, heartwarming and probably the best Christmas of my life."

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About the Author

Sarah Keaveny-Vos is a P.E.I. native who graduated from the University of King's College in Halifax. N.S., with a Bachelor of Journalism degree. Sarah loves sharing stories of Islanders doing meaningful and inspiring things in their communities. sarah.keaveny-vos@cbc.ca

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