Barbara Gibbs reconnects with miracle family
DURHAM (WTVD) -- Last year Eyewitness News introduced viewers to a family many believe have experienced miracles.
A young woman with cystic fibrosis, survived childbirth and a double-lung transplant, then just when things start looking up tragedy struck in the form of cancer.
Gwyneth Rose Lawrenson was given a 50-50 chance when she came into this world, four months early during emergency surgery. She weighed only 1 pound. Her mother was given the same odds.
Desperately ill from cystic fibrosis, Tricia Lawrenson attempted something never seen at Duke, have a baby and a double-lung transplant and live.
At the time, her husband, Nathan, knew any day could be her last. Her transplant surgeon, Shu Lin, Md. Ph.D., echoed Nathan's fear at the time, saying "I would agree with him." But she lived.
We all witnessed it. Tricia was discharged last summer after seven long months living at Duke. She, Nathan and Gwyneth were finally going home to Nags Head, a family.
Little did they know, they would soon need another miracle. One week after they got home, Tricia was diagnosed with lymphoma. Yes, cancer in her new lungs.
Nathan, who developed a worldwide following, blogging from Tricia's hospital room at Duke, didn't stop telling their story.
Nathan wrote daily about Tricia's struggles with chemotherapy, losing her hair and feeling sick.
Nathan even shaved his own head live on the internet to raise more than $4000 for the leukemia and lymphoma society. Every day, entries and photos showed Nathan savoring every day, every holiday, every moment with his two girls.
Then, just when it looked like the miracle family had run out of miracles, something amazing happened.
Right before Thanksgiving on November 20, Nathan wrote "finally good news. It appears the lymphoma is gone!"
So you can imagine how excited I was just days ago when they came back for check-ups at Duke, to see if the cancer really is gone.
Tricia, very cheerfully, very matter of factly told me herself that it appears to be.
"As far as we know, she said, "That's all cleared up. So that's very exciting. She told me laughing, "so we had a rough start and now that I'm feeling a lot better from the effects of the chemo I'm feeling back to normal, and able to watch her (Gwyneth) and it's so nice."
I also got to witness something else remarkable, the tiny baby doctors advised against even bringing into this world, celebrate her first birthday!
I even got to hold her.
Nathan and Tricia can't imagine their lives without her and love being parents.
They don't, for one moment, mind the late night feedings and changing dirty diapers.
Nathan, in every interview, has not been afraid to show his emotions. He always strikes me as someone so strong, yet so very aware of the magnitude of his young family's struggles.
Choking back tears, he says, "it's great, I love being a dad. And um, it's a blessing and it's not something that for a while, not something we thought would happen."
Instead of getting presents, they gave presents to the NICU at Duke. They had a big bag of preemie clothes. They found out the hard way, those tiny items of clothing are very hard to find and they wanted to bless other families of preemies in the future, even micro-preemies, like Gwyneth was.
After all they've been through, Nathan knows other people see them and see a miracle. But Nathan says it's hard for them to see that, "because for us, this is life, our life."
A life they say, as tough as it is, they believe God is using to help others. And if they did experience miracles over the last year, they hope they don't need to pray for another one for a long time.
local/state, barbara gibbs
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