ATLANTA - A Cobb County mother is praying she'll be able to bring her baby home for Thanksgiving after spending the last five months in the hospital.
Last January, at 38-years-old, Jamila Walton learned she was going to be a first-time mother. Then, when she was 13-weeks along, she learned she was pregnant with a baby girl.
Early on in her pregnancy, doctors showed signs of concern because Walton suffers from stage 5 kidney failure and severe hypertension.
"Each visit they would ask if I wanted to terminate the pregnancy and I would reply,'if this baby isn't supposed to be here she will terminate herself.'"
Walton said she was admitted to the hospital several times, but always kept her faith. Then, on April 20, she learned she had started to dilate. The next day she was rushed into emergency surgery to delay delivery.
Nearly ten days after the surgery, when she was just 20-weeks along, Walton said her life changed forever.
"I was en route to work around 6:45 a.m.," she said. "I was hit by a drunk driver."
Walton said the impact was so hard, it caused her water to break, and she remained hospitalized for the duration of her pregnancy. Following the accident, she was diagnosed with P.R.O.M., premature rupture of the membrane.
"She [the baby] continued to fight and was very active with the little space that she was left with," Walton said.
On May 27, Walton was rushed to the operating room for an emergency c-section after her baby began showing signs of distress. Doctors successfully delivered little Caisan, who weighed just 1-pound and 6 ounces.
"Twenty-four hours later, I was able to meet her for the first time in the NICU. I immediately broke down," the mother said. "Seeing her on the ventilator with all these wires and IV's and not being able to do anything to take away her pain devastated me."
Today, more than five months after being born, little Caisan remains in Northside hospital's neonatal intensive care unit, where she's oxygen dependent and working on gaining strength in her lungs. She's now up to 9-pounds and 10 ounces.
"She turned 5-months last Friday and is a very happy baby and I'm just so blessed to have her in my life, despite all that she has been through," Walton said. "She is my strength and I can't imagine life without her."
Walton said they were blessed to celebrate Caisan's first Halloween on Tuesday.
"Praying that we'll be able to enjoy Thanksgiving in our own home, free of wires and machines."