Mom, daughter celebrate improbable milestone at OPMC

Melissa, Eliyanah Brusoe host blood-donation drive after miraculous recoveries

By Don Coble don@claytodayonline.com
Posted 1/19/21

ORANGE PARK – Melissa and her daughter Eliyanah Brusoe don’t celebrate birthdays. They celebrate milestones and miracles.

Both returned to the Orange Park Medical Center last week to join the …

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Mom, daughter celebrate improbable milestone at OPMC

Melissa, Eliyanah Brusoe host blood-donation drive after miraculous recoveries

Posted

ORANGE PARK – Melissa and her daughter Eliyanah Brusoe don’t celebrate birthdays. They celebrate milestones and miracles.

Both returned to the Orange Park Medical Center last week to join the hospital in a two-day blood drive to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the improbable recovery for both mom and daughter.

On Jan. 13, 2020, Melissa was rushed into surgery for an emergency c-section. Eliyanah was born 12 weeks early. She weighed 2 pounds, 10 ounces – half the weight of a bag of sugar.

Melissa had her own problems. Complications during surgery led to uncontrolled bleeding. Doctors pumped 33 units of blood into her to keep her alive.

Eliyanah spent the first seven weeks of her young, fragile life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; Melissa was fighting for her own life in the Intensive Care Unit.

Hospital staff, friends and strangers rallied around Melissa’s dire need for blood. Donations sustained her life. Now she’s committed to making sure everyone realizes the importance of blood donations.

“It was a huge miracle,” mom said. “If God hadn’t lined up all the right doctors and nurses, the amount of blood that was needed to save my life, I wouldn’t be here celebrating milestones like my birthday.

“It’s another year we’re here and living together where we can help spread the word to others, bringing awareness.”

Last week’s event collected enough blood to impact 36 lives, the hospital said.

Equally important, both Melissa and Eliyanah have recovered.

“The little one’s doing well, being strong,” Melissa said. “It’s been very crazy. Emotional, but crazy.”

The return of Melissa and Eliyanah provided an opportunity to see many of the people who had a hand in saving their lives. The reunion was emotional and important – not only for the young family, but for the medical caretakers whose skills were instrumental in saving both lives.

“We’re both doing great, although she was born at 28 weeks. She hasn’t had any developmental or physical problems,” Melissa said. “I have some hurdles to cross myself because mentally it took a lot. I went through a lot.”

But as the years pass – and milestones – are celebrated, their recovery continues to be a testament in the skills of doctors and nurses at the Orange Park Medical Center – and the constant need for life-saving blood.

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