Shelby was born nearly eight weeks early to Stacy and Billy Smithart. Shortly after he was born, he had difficulty breathing and was placed on a monitor. As he continued to have problems, he was flown to Children’s Hospital. There, the doctors explained that Shelby’s lungs were underdeveloped and were the cause of his breathing difficulties. Stacy said the nurses were able to put things into simpler terms for them.
“They told us that Shelby’s condition was common in premature babies. They really put us at ease. Their positive, caring attitudes really meant a lot to us and they always kept us informed. The care we received was excellent.”
After nine days at Children’s, Shelby was able to go back to Dothan Regional Medical to continue gaining weight in preparation to go home with his family. After five days there, he was released.
Stacy said, as a baby, and through his preschool years, Shelby had asthma attacks and used a nebulizer; however, today he is now 12-years-old and has not had an attack in two years.
“He has to carry an inhaler just in case he needs it, but he makes good grades and enjoys playing football, basketball, and baseball. He is also an active youth member in our church. Right now he shows a lot of interest in coaching and is a great leader.”