The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Local News

December 26, 2012

Hale family feels truly blessed around Christmas

TARBORO — Miracles and wishes coming true around Christmas time have continued to happen around the Hale family year after year. The wishes have come true for the Hale family during their past two Christmas holidays. Keith and Vickie Hale have a 15-year old daughter, Miranda, who has been in and out of the hospital numerous times for heart complications.

She was born with a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It is a primary disease of the heart muscle in which a portion of the myocardium is thickened without any obvious cause.

After their 2010 family Christmas, Miranda had to be rushed to the hospital on New Year's Day because her heart went into atrial fibrillation. Her heart stopped beating and she went into cardiac arrest. She also stopped breathing. The Hale family didn't receive good news once Miranda had been stabilized at the hospital. The Hale's were told their daughter would be bed-ridden the rest of her life and thought that Christmas may never be the same again.

A miracle happened though, because Miranda began to improve after a couple of months in the hospital. After 83 days of being in the pediatric intensive care unit, she was transferred to a rehabilitation unit where she spent another 57 days.

Miranda had suffered a severe brain injury when she went into cardiac arrest. She had to learn how walk again and how to use her motor skills.

Miranda was released from the hospital in July and had to continue rehab so she could work on her fine and gross motor skills. Miranda started back to school, but was only going two days a week, because she was balancing rehab three times a week in with it.

"We sent Miranda back to school on a limited basis because she was in rehab," Keith said. "We were just trying to get her back as close to being normal as she could again."

When Christmas rolled around last year Miranda had improved tremendously considering what the doctors had told her family while she was hospitalized. The doctors had said Miranda would never recover.

"I was a blessing that Miranda recovered like she did after we were told she would never recover," Keith Hale said. "It was just a true blessing for her to recover like she did."

As Christmas neared, the community gathered around Miranda with outpouring support for her and her family. She was selected by Curtis and Melanie Bearden, who do an annual event called Autumn's Lights. The Bearden's help raise money for hospital bills for a selected family and the Hale's happened to be the family chosen.

"The community support was amazing," Keith said. "We had people calling, helping us any way possible – it was just a blessing at the support we had gotten."

As Christmas approached, Miranda had recovered and was going to school and had began walking better. She was still not a 100 percent, but she was recovering day by day.

The Hale's were truly blessed that their daughter had recovered like she had and had beat the odds from what doctors had told them.

"Our Christmas was very special last year because we had Miranda with us," Keith said. "It was just a true blessing we had our family together and were able to celebrate another Christmas together."

Miranda had been doing good health-wise, but had some complications two weeks ago when she got short of breath and was having trouble breathing. Doctors did an ultrasound and found she had fluid that had built up in her lungs and had developed pneumonia. Miranda was released from the hospital Tuesday and the Hale family will have another special Christmas for which to be thankful.

"We are relieved that we will be able to spend Christmas together as a family again this year," Keith Hale said.

The Hale family feels blessed with all of the support they have received both times that Miranda was in the hospital. Especially around the holiday's, because they know that their family and daughter are on other peoples minds during the special times of the year.

"The community support has been great both times Miranda was in the hospital," Keith Hale said. "People have called and checked on her and the family. The community has also helped us out with our 13-year old son, Will, and certain things like that."

The Hale family feels truly blessed and are very happy they will be able to spend another family holiday together.


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