When doctors told the family of 7-month-old Denniya Rawls that she would finally be released from the hospital after spending more than 100 days there, one of them shouted, “Thank you, Jesus!”
Medical staff at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital in Ohio also celebrated the release of the baby who was at death’s door in March.
“It is amazing she recovered like this,” Dr. Rabi Hanna said. “She has spent more time in her life inside the hospital than outside the hospital.”
Little Denniya was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder called hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). She also had liver and respiratory failure.
“It was horrible because we couldn’t help her,” her father Dennard Rawls said. “There was nothing we could do, and then to watch our baby deteriorate from the inside out, it was hard.”
“It’s extremely rare to see a patient with this type of mutation who is this young,” Hanna told ABC News. “Less than one in 5 million kids who would have this mutation.”
Denniya was only three months old when the clinic admitted her.
The Rawls were told she needed a bone marrow transplant to live. They stood by her side day and night as she underwent chemotherapy and waited for a match.
After several weeks on the waiting list, Denniya had a match.
“That was like a blessing, a miracle,” Robin Rawls, her mother, said.
In mid-June, Denniya became the youngest baby to get a life-saving bone marrow transplant at that hospital.
“You work hard for the chance to have a kid fight and have a chance at life so I’m very excited our team was able to give a chance to Denniya,” Dr. Hanna said. “She’ll go to school and maybe one day she’ll graduate and even become a doctor maybe.”
Robin and Dennard said they look forward to watching their daughter grow up and one day meeting the baby’s donor, who wishes to remain anonymous.
“Words really can’t explain it. I’m so grateful,” Dennard Rawls said. “[Donating marrow] is a painful process so for (the donor) to endure that for our daughter, we can never repay [them].”
“I would love to shake the person’s hand who saved my daughter’s life,” he added.