You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Premature baby faces medical challenges
Lauren Boone gazes at the crib set up for her daughter, Atlee, born July 20 with a number of medical problems.
SAN ANTONIO -- Tears streamed down the face of Nathan Boone as he recalled first hearing of the condition that would affect his then-unborn daughter.
“My first reaction was, ‘I’m dreaming,’” said Nathan, who works for R Construction, based in Floresville and serving the petroleum industry. “It didn’t seem real to me. After the doctors told us what we will be facing, it just didn’t seem real.”
Transplants to the San Antonio area following the boom in activity from the Eagle Ford shale, Nathan and his wife, Lauren, welcomed their second child, Atlee Grace, into the world July 20, more than a month early. Atlee faces tremendous challenges, not only from her premature arrival, but other factors, also.
During the course of routine doctor visits before her birth, the Boones learned of the hard road ahead for their daughter, diagnosed with VACTERL association -- vertebral defects, anal atresia, cardiac defects, tracheo-esophageal fistula, renal anomalies, and limb abnormalities.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine website, VACTERL association is found in one of every 10,000 to 40,000 newborns. Defects in the vertebrae, or bones of the spine, are found in 60 to 80 percent of infants born with VACTERL association.
“Atlee doesn’t have thumbs and only has one bone in her right arm,” Nathan said. “The bones in her spine don’t stack up right ... .”
“She has an issue with her heart, but the doctor said that might heal on its own,” Lauren said. “When you find out something like this, you’re just in complete shock. You’re devastated; you want nothing but the best for your child. You go through phases of ‘Why me?’ But we are Christians and are assured of God’s plan.
“When I first found out, I was just like ‘What did we do?’ I asked myself what we could have done differently. You’re just scared of the unknown ... .”
Until Atlee was born, the unknown was the greatest strain -- not knowing the extent of her illness, Lauren said.
Atlee had her first surgery July 22 to correct a swallowing issue and connect a colostomy bag. Doctors must now work to create a rectum for the tiny tot, who was born without one. Doctors and hospitals will be regular features in her young life, as medical personnel work to correct, modify, or help the family find ways to cope with Atlee’s challenges.
Due to their strong personal convictions, terminating the pregnancy was never an option.
“The doctor didn’t even think we were going to be needing any of the testing needed for an abortion, because she knew it was never an option; she knew we were strong Christians,” Lauren said. “We will not interrupt God’s plan whatsoever. I know that some families that may go through something like this might only see the worst, but we know and trust in God’s plan.
“That doesn’t mean that it isn’t extremely difficult for us at times and there are moments of weakness where we feel down, but we are strong in our faith. There have been so many blessings that the Lord has already bestowed upon us since this whole thing started. Nathan and I have gotten a lot closer and stronger together. The outpouring of love and support from friends, family, and the community is truly humbling.”
“There are people who are living and dealing with way more than what we are,” Nathan said. “I have faith that everything will go according to God’s plan. Although this is a difficult time, we have been receiving some of the biggest blessings of our lives.”
Facing the challenges, Nathan said, “... we try and reflect on so many of the good things” Atlee has brought into their lives, even before she was born. “We try to stay positive and not think of the worst.”
Friends of the Boones and colleagues in the oil-field industry will host a benefit Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28-29, to help offset Atlee’s impending medical expenses. The benefit will feature a cook-off, silent auction, roping, and live entertainment, with all proceeds going to the Boones for Atlee’s medical expenses.
For more information about the benefit, call Sharmon Roberson at 903-390-0181. See “How you can help” for more about the benefit and ways to make the event a success.
See also: Benefit set; you can help
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
Benefit for animal shelter is Aug. 1 (July 29, 2015)
Cestohowa Altar Society ladies celebrate 60 years of service (July 29, 2015)
Church youth to hold car wash (July 29, 2015)
Don’t miss Kosciusko Picnic this Sunday (July 29, 2015)
Free movie Friday in Poth (July 29, 2015)
Historical marker denotes former school site (July 29, 2015)
Legion Auxiliary garage sale Aug. 1 (July 29, 2015)
Life in the Camp Ranch community (July 29, 2015)
Luciano Pacheco – the sole Tejano survivor of the Alamo (July 29, 2015)
Opry helps fund historical markers (July 29, 2015)
Popeye beach pail (July 29, 2015)
See a free flick in Elmendorf (July 29, 2015)
Stuff the bus in Stockdale (July 29, 2015)
Summer program ends at Falls City library (July 29, 2015)
WCRSP delivers children’s books to schools (July 29, 2015)
Balance classes start July 27 (July 22, 2015)
Be a high roller in Floresville (July 22, 2015)
Bobble-head Bozo (July 22, 2015)
Cool down with free snow cones (July 22, 2015)
Copper-pot craftsmanship — CINCO Vodka (July 22, 2015)
Marion Sausage Supper is Aug. 1 (July 22, 2015)
Mu Chi members attend state convention (July 22, 2015)
Opry lineup is sure to satisfy (July 22, 2015)
Save the date for Kody Fest Aug. 8 (July 22, 2015)
Shop ‘Trinkets and Treasures’ (July 22, 2015)
SSCA seeks donations for rummage sale (July 22, 2015)
Start two-stepping at FUMC (July 22, 2015)
Texas sales-tax holiday (July 22, 2015)
The Landing offers help for teens (July 22, 2015)
What a difference an ‘A’ makes! (July 22, 2015)
Browse, learn, shop at Home and Garden Show (July 15, 2015)
Celebrate Czech Day in Jourdanton (July 15, 2015)
Daughters of the Republic installs officers (July 15, 2015)
Enjoy St. Anthony church fest (July 15, 2015)
Experience ‘The Hobbit’ under the stars (July 15, 2015)
Free Movies at the Park in Poth (July 15, 2015)
Learn to compost with worms (July 15, 2015)
Legion Auxiliary plans garage sale (July 15, 2015)
Library happenings (July 15, 2015)
Mystery blanket sparks search (July 15, 2015)
Night In Old Fredericksburg is July 18 (July 15, 2015)
Plan now for Beaver Roundup (July 15, 2015)
Teddy bears, pottery (July 15, 2015)
The bridges of Wilson County (July 15, 2015)
‘Atomic tourists’ converge on Trinity Site ahead of 70th anniversary (July 15, 2015)
Behind the lens: Cover photo (July 8, 2015)
Bobby Flores Birthday Bash is July 11 (July 8, 2015)
Early settlers of Wilson County (July 8, 2015)
Enjoy ‘Big Hero 6’ at Movie Day (July 8, 2015)
Enjoy ‘Cool Tunes’ in Brenham (July 8, 2015)
Family violence shelter seeks volunteers (July 8, 2015)
Family weekend fun in Adkins (July 8, 2015)
FHS Reunion is July 25 (July 8, 2015)
Fishing lures (July 8, 2015)
Give blood at Sacred Heart Church (July 8, 2015)
Hamilton earns rank of captain (July 8, 2015)
Memorial hog hunt a hit! (July 8, 2015)
Save the date for Home and Garden Show (July 8, 2015)
See comedians in China Grove (July 8, 2015)
‘Alabama’ to invade K-Town (July 8, 2015)
‘Dying’ brings broadcaster back to life (July 8, 2015)
Bible study in Verdi (July 1, 2015)
Buses, pickup trucks, automobiles, and walking (July 1, 2015)
Davy Crockett, Depression glass (July 1, 2015)
Dog shows start July 8 (July 1, 2015)
Enjoy Fourth of July parade, concert in Seguin (July 1, 2015)
Enjoy Sunday Dances all month (July 1, 2015)
Free July 4 concerts in SA (July 1, 2015)
Free music, fireworks in Brenham (July 1, 2015)
Ice cream makers, tasters needed (July 1, 2015)
Jack's Cafe adds Sports Room and patio (July 1, 2015)
July is for grape stomping (July 1, 2015)
Look who's flying solo! (July 1, 2015)
Memories fly following balloon stories (July 1, 2015)
Register for state-wide Chili Cook-off (July 1, 2015)
Remembering my first haircut (July 1, 2015)
Savor: Summer drinks with calories and exercise equivalents (July 1, 2015)
South Texas Gardener reveals 'mystery plants' (July 1, 2015)
The Gathering Music Show (July 1, 2015)