Manchester mother with sickle cell disease celebrates Christmas with her healthy baby

Manchester mother with sickle cell disease celebrates Christmas with her healthy baby
Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 7:58 PM EST
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MANCHESTER, CT (WFSB) - Christmas is five days away but one Manchester mom is already celebrating the arrival of her most precious and unexpected gift.

“You are beautiful, you are amazing. You are going to be everything god wants you to be,” said Daisha Dillon.

Daisha can’t wait to celebrate the holidays with her picture perfect four-month-old baby Kinsley.

“It’s gonna be special just cause it’s her first Christmas,” Daisha said. “We have matching pajamas that we are gonna wear and take pictures because I’m gonna be that mom.”

The season is especially joyous in Daisha’s Manchester home because little Kinsley is her mama’s Christmas miracle.

Daisha has struggled her entire life with the inherited disorder sickle cell disease.

“I was diagnosed as a six-month-old baby my mom says,” said Daisha.

Daisha often endures excruciating pain episodes. But the physical trauma is nothing compared to the mental anguish she felt when doctors explained she’d likely never fulfill her greatest dream.

“I just heard over and over ‘you shouldn’t get pregnant it will make your pain crises worse if you do get pregnant it’ll be such a high-risk pregnancy,’” Daisha said. “We would worry about you and the baby.”

Daisha’s doctors discouraged her from having children because they worried getting pregnant could make her symptoms worse.

“I was very joyful, but I was also scared, to be honest,” said Daisha, recalling when she learned she was pregnant. “I began to pray that I made it to 12 weeks because I was told over and over and over not to get pregnant.”

From the beginning of her journey Daisha received a more reassuring message from the team at UConn Health’s New England Sickle Cell Institute.

Nurse Practitioner Genice Nelson gave Daisha hope.

“She told me just like this, you are not the first person that has sickle cell to have a baby and you will not be the last,” Daisha said.

“So she had a regularly scheduled blood transfusions to support her pregnancy, which is one of the reasons why she was able to have a healthy baby girl,” said Nelson, Program Director at UConn Health’s New England Sickle Cell Institute.

“She smiled at me and they put her in on my chest and I felt everything would be fine,” Daisha said.

Daisha said she is very grateful for one important difference between mother and daughter: baby Kinsley is sickle cell free.

“She was meant to be here, definitely meant to be here,” said Daisha.

Daisha is so grateful for everyone who made these moments possible.

Even during the most magical time of year, the greatest gifts are the ones that seem impossible. You just have to believe.

“It’s gonna be the best Christmas we ever had,” Daisha said.