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Poisoned and Trouble Breathing
Tiffany Starr Blakely

The Children’s Hospital was like my home in the first years of my life.

When I was born in 1979, I was born with one side of my nose blocked and could not go home with my mom. I stayed a few days longer and my mom was sad! She called and would visit and everyone was so nice to her, she said.

Then, I had 32 ear infections and tubes in my ears three times. I felt so comfortable with the nurses. Then when I was about 18-months old, there was an epidemic of spinal meningitis. I was hospitalized for a long time and was in intensive are. Everyone was so good to me. A lot of the children died (I also started seizures during this bout). A lot were crippled. I came out just fine, but the Dr. told my mom I might have problems later in life. My mom was so devastated during this time, but she never left me. She stayed at the hospital! Everyone treated her good.

Then when I was a little older, I drank “Old English” furniture polish. It could burn up your lungs. It was touch and go and I almost died. I made it! Then I went again (to Children’s) to have my nose opened up. They went through the roof of my mouth – my poor mom. Well, I made it through that one too. All of this took place at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama.

I’ll always feel I’m alive because of God and the good care of the doctors, nurses and my mom Susie Blakely.
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