Mother’s Day: Child’s birth a gift later in life

From The Register-Mail:
Nancy Hall gets to decide how today will be celebrated. For her, that means opening her arms wide to embrace her “yours, mine and ours” family during a Mother’s Day picnic at Wildlife Prairie Park…

“We were thrilled when we got pregnant,” said Nancy, 51, manager of user services at Knox College for 15 years. “The pregnancy went very well…”

At just 4 days old, Grant underwent open heart surgery. He was put on a lung-heart machine and his chest was cracked open. Blood donated to the American Red Cross provided for a transfusion…

The couple marvels how this later-in-life child has changed their world.

“It’s been amazing. In the beginning we didn’t ever know if he’d live and then we wondered if he’d be normal, would he be able to do things like other kids,” Nancy said. “It was like we watched every breath there for a while.

“Every day is a gift with Grant and we try to take every day with him and make it the best,” she said…

Need for blood always there

Stories like that of the Hall family are what help spread the word about the need to give blood, according to Theresa Kuhlmann, program manager of communications for the American Red Cross Mid-America Blood Services Division based in Peoria.