South Georgia walks for premature babies - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia walks for premature babies

April 20, 2006

Valdosta - Ten-month-old Jonathan Crosby looks like a perfectly healthy baby today. He's his mother's pride and joy and the apple of his grandma's eye. "It's just wonderful, he brightens up your day," said Eleanor Smith, Grandmother.

But Jonathan has come a long way to get to this point. He was born nine weeks too early. "He weighed three pounds, 14 ounces," said Sheree Arnold, Mother.

Jonathan was rushed to a Macon hospital where he could get more specialized treatment. For several weeks, Sheree couldn't even hold her new baby. "His lungs weren't completely developed and he was having problems keeping his heart rate up," said Arnold.

"That was so, so hard to see him hooked up to a ventilator that had to help him breathe," said Smith.

Its a nightmare no family should have to go through, but thanks to prayer, support from family and friends and the March of Dimes, Jonathan is where he is today. Saturday, Jonathan and his parents will lead the March of Dimes' Walk America in Valdosta. Sheree says its a way to give back to the organization that helped her through the toughest time of her life. "We got so much support and help from everyone," said Arnold.

But support isn't all the March of Dimes is about. "The main thing is to do research and see why there are premature babies, so we can help and no one else will have to go through what we have gone through," said Smith.

Jonathan is a couple of months behind most babies his age. "He should be crawling by now and he's not," said Arnold.

But he'll catch up soon and you'll probably never know he was born too early. When he's old enough, his parents will tell him the incredible story of how he came into this world, and about the organization that gave them the strength to make it through.

Valdosta's Walk America will start at 9:00 Saturday morning at Mathis City Auditorium. Moultrie's walk will also start at 9:00 Saturday at the Colquitt County Arts Center.

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