Copeland Spires
Autauga County
Not Feature Story
We are honored to share our story with you. We have a blended family with five children. In October 2004, we found out that we were expecting. We had not gotten over the shock before problems started developing. By week 16 of the pregnancy Meg's blood pressure was out of control and by week 22 of the pregnancy Meg was admitted to the hospital on strict bed rest. We had several meetings with neonatologist and they told us that the baby’s chance of survival was very poor. Daily ultrasounds were performed to determine if the baby was growing or in any distress. By week 26, the physicians told us that the baby was under a great deal of stress and so was Meg. We had no option but to do an emergency C-section.

March 26, 2005 at 5:00 p.m. we were the proud yet extremely frightened parents of Copeland Matthew Spires, a one pound, five ounce, 12 inch long, beautiful baby boy. However, at only 26 weeks gestation he still had 14 very crucial weeks to grow and develop. Physicians and nurses worked very quickly to stabilize Copeland and secure an airway. Copeland was whisked away to the NICU at Baptist Medical Center South. The staff of this unit was exceptional to Copeland and our family. Copeland was fighting every day for his life. We were literally on an emotional roller coaster. Once it became apparent that Copeland's condition was not getting any better and he was not able to come off the ventilator we were transferred to Children's to see a pulmonologist. Copeland spent several months in the NICU. Copeland underwent several major surgeries, which included a tracheostomy and G-tube. Copeland was then transferred to the fifth floor pulmonary unit. Copeland celebrated his first birthday at Children's hospital. We went through an extensive home ventilator training program. In July of 2006 Copeland and his ventilator were able to come home for the first time!! Copeland has thrived at home with his family. He goes to church, to baseball games, fishing, and everywhere else we go. We are very blessed. Many babies born micro-preemie have multiple system problems.

Copeland has a condition called Broncho Pulmonary Dysplasia (BPD). The prognosis is very good for Copeland to wean off the ventilator and be able to participate in all age appropriate activities. We still visit Children’s at least every two months and have frequent contact with the members of the home ventilator program. We are extremely fortunate and blessed to have Children's Hospital in Alabama!! Meg is an RN and has transferred many sick and injured children to Children’s over the years. Meg has always had the utmost respect for the care given at Children’s Hospital. As a parent of a tiny baby fighting to live and witnessing the staff and physicians helping him in that fight, we both have a deep admiration for what they all do. We not only met healthcare workers, we encountered individuals who showed a genuine love for our baby. We have developed relationships that will last a lifetime.