Lily Betzner weighed just 2 pounds when she was born in October 2020 at 28 weeks gestation to parents Sarah and Micah of Casstown. Lily was born at Miami Valley Hospital and was transferred to Columbus Children’s Hospital.
“She was doing really well, and then a month after she was born, she contracted meningitis and we almost lost her,” Sarah said.
The meningitis caused Lily’s brain to be damaged, but they couldn’t immediately tell how it would affect her long-term. She began Riverside Early Intervention services when she was around 5 months old, with in-home visits to work on reaching developmental milestones.
“I feel like the therapy helps her a lot,” Sarah said. “We were trying to get her to crawl, but we have been working on her sitting. She can sit in a supported chair where her feet hit the ground and she can support her head. We are also working on standing. Her one foot doesn’t want to go flat, but we are working on getting orthotics to get her foot positioned right to get a 90-degree angle for her foot. Hopefully we can eventually help her walk.”
Sarah said Lily is happy most of the time and she loves jumping in a bouncy seat. She also has a special toy with rings that she loves, and likes things with unique textures.
Lily has an older brother, Azariah, 7, as well as a baby sister, Rose, who was born in October 2022. The family recently learned that Lily has some fluid in her brain has not stopped producing and she has cerebral vision impairment. With the fluid in her brain, it is causing her more brain damage. Lily had an MRI recently, and doctors are working to determine how best to drain the fluid, as it is risky.
“It’s been a journey the whole time,” Sarah said. “My eyes have been open to people I never knew existed and what their problems were. Lily is not the way I thought she would be, but she is perfect the way she is. Our church (Troy Baptist Church) has been a big support system.”