A mother defied the odds by betting her ill newborn daughter would make it to her first birthday. This week the little girl celebrated her fifth.
The ties that bind us to those we love can be complicated.
For Sabiba Auodia, the tubing tethering her 5-year-old daughter Alice back is also the one thing allowing her to live.
“I’m her voice now. I’m her breath. I’m giving her the breath to live,” Auodia said.
Five years ago, Auodia was pregnant with Alice, her first child.
On holiday from their homeland of Algeria, Auodia went into early labor and delivered a very sick baby girl. Alice was diagnosed with a rare condition that doesn’t allow her to breathe on her own. Doctors delivered the heart-wrenching news to the new parents that their baby would likely not make it to her first birthday.
“In my mind, I cannot turn off the machine and let her go. I see in her like she wants to live,” Auodia said.
Despite being told their baby suffered brain damage that will impede her ability to ever walk or talk, Auodia and her husband chose to bet on hope.
And so began what would be a four-year journey, in and out of hospitals fighting for the miracle they named Alice Chloe.
Olivia Hayes is the Assistant Clinical Manager at La Rabida Hospital. She was there witnessing each new milestone like Alice’s first birthday and then her second.
“There are hard cases and then there are cases that will truly blow your mind. because they are a miracle,” she said. “She is a miracle. She is a miracle since the day she was born and every day since then.”
As her parents learned a new language and carried the weight of the machine required to keep their daughter alive, Alice Chloe found her own rhythm.
“To see our daughter now, she’s happy, walking around,” she’s enjoying her life and everything,” Auodia said.
By her fourth birthday, Alice traded the halls of a hospital for those of a school. And each passing birthday and milestone has been an unexpected and beautiful gift for the family.
“I’m the happiest mom in the world. When I see her progressing,” Auodia said. “I feel blessed. I feel blessed to see my daughter here”
A bright-spirited girl, only held back by the heavy machine that gives her breath.
There is a pacemaker that could be placed in Alice’s diaphragm, freeing her from the three-foot cord. It costs more than this family believes they could afford, which is why on Alice’s fifth birthday, gratitude in her heart, Auodia made her own silent wish as she helped her daughter blow out the candles for a birthday they were told would never come.
“My dream is to see my daughter without any chords, any chords in her body, talking walking around and saying ‘Yes, I’m here. Yes, I can,” Auodia said.
A GoFundMe on behalf of Alice has raised more than $4,000 of its $100,000 goal. Anyone interested in donating may do so by clicking the hyperlink above.