Avery’s nominator says “Avery was born just 2 years ago on July 5th 2013. Within moments of her birth, it was obvious that she was having trouble breathing. I was in the room. What was otherwise assumed to be a relatively healthy pregnancy & baby, turned into a traumatic experience shortly after. Avery’s jaw was shorter than it should have been, blocking her airway. She also had a slight cleft pallet that wasn’t picked up in prenatal ultrasounds. After a short stay in NICU, she was finally transported to Children’s. I would have to double check with Alison… but I believe Avery was in NICU for 5 or 6 weeks. She actually had to have surgery on her jaw before she could come home. She came home on all types of monitors, and had large screws sticking out of the back of her jaw that were being used to gradually move her jaw forward in with groundbreaking technology. Her mother (and my best friend) went through more trauma than a mother should ever have to experience. She really had a patient for 6+ months, instead of a baby. She committed herself to pumping breastmilk to give her baby the best she could, and had to buy bottles made for baby squirrels because Avery’s condition was so rare that there wasn’t really anything “made for” her. This sweet Avery still has challenges. With her speech and other things. She was never able to breastfeed (that broke her mother’s heart). But she’s overcome so much and she’s the sweetest, happiest little girl you’ve ever seen. I’m nominating her not necessarily because SHE overcame a lot (she didn’t know any better), but because of what her family overcame. They expected the fairy tale of childbirth; and ended up scared, anxious, learning to care for a high needs child, and collected medical bills for the past 2 years. And in this email I haven’t even tapped into the slightest of details of hardships they have gone through as a family. Winning this photoshoot would mean so much to the family, and they would be priceless keepsakes they would treasure forever. <3 “
Heather says: Avery is a little tiny girl who knows exactly what she wants and when and is not having any of your loitering. She was ready to go. Avery is SO itty bitty. She’s two now, but still in 9mo clothes. She’s potty trained, walking and talking.. it’s just that she’s the size of a doll!