Family Stories

1979: Girl's Homecoming Real Birthday Gift

picture caption: Pam Sue Garrett holds young Christin Garrett as the girl's doctor, Joe Alexander, holds a birthday cake for Mrs Garrett.

Years from now, when Christin Aline Garrett of Oklahoma City searches for an appropriate birthday present for her mother, there'll be an appropriate story to recount.

Her mother, Christin may be told, once received an extra special birthday present for which her mother and father had prayed and at times feared wouldn't be delivered.

That present was Christin.

The happy ending in the story began Tuesday as Michael and Pam Sue Garrett, brought home their four-pound, three-ounce baby girl on Mrs Garrett's 26th birthday.

The surprise decision to allow young Christin to leave Mercy Health Center came 106 days - and 2 1/2 pounds - after she was born some 14 weeks prematurely on March 19.

Weighing a mere 1 pound and 11 ounces at birth, Christin immediately had breathing problems, and for six weeks was on a respirator.

Because of her premature birth, a vital blood vessel between the aorta and pulmonary artery had not closed, and surgeons at Mercy performed delicate heart surgery on the baby on April 27 to close the vessel.

After the operation, she was on oxygen for a short period and has been "making progress since."

"We're very, very thankful we've got her," Mrs Garrett said. "We weren't sure she was going to make it."

Mrs Garrett, who works part time in a baby shop, said Christin's room is ready for an occupant and doting grandparents.

Christin's care at Mercy compiled a bill in excess of $60,000, an amount covered by insurance. At one point, her care was $1000 a day in a special neo-natal unit.

The Daily Oklahoman, 4 July 1979.