Miracle baby turns 7

2017-03-28 14:32
Heather Geddes with Pietermaritzburg’s miracle baby of 2010, Tayla Grace Geddes.

Heather Geddes with Pietermaritzburg’s miracle baby of 2010, Tayla Grace Geddes. (supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg miracle baby Tayla Grace Geddes turned seven this month.

She was born with three holes in her heart and a missing septum, disabling her heart from separating oxygenated and deoxygenated blood. Tayla Grace had to undergo heart surgery at only four months old and doctors had given her a life span of at least five years. Her mother, Heather Geddes, said after all the trials and tribulations baby Tayla is now a “loud” and energetic bundle of joy who loves music.

“I went through a bad patch a few years ago as I was mourning ‘the loss of a normal child’ but with the help and love from my parents, Neville and Anne, and my fiancé Keith Charlton, who has been in our lives since she was two years old, I got through it. I still have moments when I get down but those are very seldom.

“Being a special needs parent has its difficult moments but it’s also very rewarding. You take nothing for granted and every small achievement is celebrated.

“She is learning new things at her own pace and is now able to pull herself around short distances and her legs are slowly getting stronger. When she hears the bath water running, her arms automatically go up because she knows it’s her bath time.

“She still battles with sensory issues. Strangers often comment that I don’t put shoes on her feet but if only they knew how simply putting shoes and socks on a child with sensory issues can make or break them and put them in a bad mood for the next few hours.

“Tayla Grace can tolerate most things but certain sounds do upset her. If we go to the mall, we know within the first few minutes if we must rather come back another time or if she will be okay. With Tayla Grace being non-verbal we have learnt to understand her different cries and sounds.

“She is still fed via the feeding peg in her stomach every three hours but we try constantly with new substances via the mouth, which at times does not go down too well and we land up with more food all over ourselves. Yoghurt is the only substance she seems to tolerate.

“I used to be so aware when feeding her and would find a changing room if we were out but now I am not concerned. She needs to be fed and have fluids so I have no problem pulling out her feeding extension and syringes and feeding her wherever we are and the majority of the public accept it.

“I am, however, sensitive when kids are around and cover up as I once heard a mother tell her child if she didn’t start eating properly she was going to start feeding her like I was feeding Tayla Grace.

“Her heart is doing well and her cardiologist has advised that we only need to go for a check-up every second year now. She battles with heat so she keeps a very short haircut in summer but now that it’s getting cooler I am growing it.

“I have yet to come into contact with anyone with her same genetic abnormality but have also learnt not to Google it.

“Tayla Grace has now learnt to put her arms around my neck in a form of a hug so I can’t wait to get home in the afternoons, I pick her up and just feeling her ‘hugging me’ is simply the best feeling ever.

“Tayla Grace is my everything. She continues to bring so much joy into our lives, her continued perseverance and courage has taught us so much. She is generally a very happy little girl, always laughing and smiling, and I am generally a very happy mommy when I see nappies and wet wipes on sale.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  pmb people

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