4/14/2002 CUTEST LITTLE THING: Chatfield couple's
infant battles premature birth
Shawn Jones holds her tiny daughter,
KaileeLynn. The infant was only 11 ounces at birth and faces
further hospital time as she matures. COURTESY PHOTO
By BARBARA FORMAN/Daily Sun Staff
For most parents having a baby can bring about
a surplus of emotions. Sentiments of joy, concern and wonderment
bring phenomenal experiences and life is saved from being simply
Shawn and Paul Jones Jr. of Chatfield are well
versed in emotional experiences since the birth of their daughter
Kailee Lynn Jones in February. She was born prematurely and at birth
weighed 11 ounces.
Kathleen Downie, a social worker LMSW for
Baylor Hospital and who works exclusively with pre-natal babies,
said the complications often associated with premature birth could
be catastrophic. The physical, financial and emotional pressures are
"While the baby is in the hospital (the
parents) are going through tremendous stress," she said.
Although still in the hospital the medical
staff has witnessed major improvements in Kailee. Her mother said as
of Thursday she weighed 1 pound and 10 ounces.
"She is even getting her own
personality," Shawn said. "The nurses have said she lets
them know she dosen't like a wet diaper and when she gets mad she
covers her face with her hand."
All new parents, even under the best of
circumstances, have enormous responsibilities to cope with. For
Shawn and Paul it has been a roller coaster of events since the
discovery of their pregnancy.
They had taken their time in deciding to have
another child because both already had children from previous
The usual waiting involved with conception was
intensified for Shawn because she was having a difficult time
conceiving. After much thought and discussion she decided to use a
Doctors verified a baby was on the way in
October. With tears welling up, Shawn put her hand to her heart as
she spoke of the moment.
After Paul's son Josh, a 15 year-old, and
Shawn's daughter, Samantha Garmon, an 11 year-old, heard about the
new baby they joined in the excitement and preparation for the new
member to their family.
"I was so excited," Shawn said.
"Sometimes I thought it was never going to happen. I found out
I was pregnant on Samantha's birthday."
It was an unforgettable time but by December
Shawn was told she needed to see a high-risk physician because her
fluids for the baby were low.
"By Jan. 4 my fluids dropped to almost
none," she said.
Her doctor at that time was not the bearer of
good news and Shawn wanted to get another opinion.
"I was devastated because I did not
believe in termination," she said. "I was crying because
it was such a big deal for us to get pregnant."
After being put on complete bed rest and
finding another doctor, hope began to shine through again.
It was determined Shawn's placenta had been
damaged and was the probable cause of low fluids. After many more
tests and preparation for early hospitalization in the next few days
to weeks, uncertainty ruled again.
At the 25th week of pregnancy Shawn and Paul
decided to let nature take its course. The baby's heartbeat was
monitored on a regular basis as well as Shawn's physical condition.
Her doctor at Baylor Hospital decided it would
be in everyone's best interest to put Shawn in the hospital early.
During the three-week period of hospitalization there was no growth
in the baby. At 26 weeks the heart rate had dropped so low it became
necessary for the doctor to take her.
The thought of losing their baby was
"Because of the low fluids, we didn't
even know if she would take her first breath," Shawn said.
"When she came out (the baby) cried."
Shawn and Paul had sustained each other
through the whole thing. After they heard their very tiny baby cry
for the first time they said they nearly passed out.
"That's when we lost it," she said.
Paul said he didn't know what to think.
"I got sick and I really thought she
wasn't going to make it," he said.
Shawn and Paul were told the first 48 hours
would be the most critical. At the end of the week a brain scan had
been scheduled and the results were unbelievable.
"The worst level would have been four,
(on a scale of one to four)" Shawn said. "She didn't even
score a one."
Kailee continues to amaze her parents and the
medical team. On a recent Apgar test, with a possible score of 10,
she scored eight. The test is used to determine heart rate,
respiration, reflexes, muscle tone, color and it also determines a
She has made all the struggles worth it. Once
released from the hospital the family will not qualify for any state
assistance because of their middle-income range.
The social worker said it was important for
the community to be understanding of what the family is going
through. It is important for friends and family to be there for the
family and for employers to be understanding of the situation.
Shawn has continued to work part time but
several trips are required each week to Dallas. Paul's insurance is
helping with a portion of expenses. When Kailee is released from the
hospital there will not be any help from Medicaid.
Barbara Forman may be contacted via e-mail at
7/14/2002 FROM SMALL BEGINNNINGS: Tiny
preemie rallying into good health
Four-month, two-week-old Kailee Lynn
Jones weighed 11 ounces when she was born on February 26,
2002. She now weighs 5 pounds 3 ounces and is doing just
fine. DAILY SUN photo/KIRK SIDES
By BARBARA FORMAN/Daily Sun Staff
Kailee Lynn Jones weighed 11 ounces at
birth. Today, she has a baby fat face and is beating the incredible
odds of her premature birth.
When a Chatfield couple Shawn and Paul
Jones Jr. discovered they were going to have a baby they were
The pregnancy was confirmed in October and
plans for a new baby were made. By December, Shawn had developed
severe complications that threatened the baby's life.
In January Shawn's body fluids had dropped
and it was determined the placenta had been damaged and was causing
extreme problems. Aborting the pregnancy was not a consideration for
She was hospitalized at the 25th week of
pregnancy. Together Shawn and Paul decided to allow nature and God
to take its course. At 26 weeks the baby's heart rate had dropped so
low it became necessary for the doctor to take her.
There was no guarantee the baby would even
breathe when she was born.
"When she came out she cried,"
Today, Kailee weighs 5 pounds, 3 ounces and
is surprising everyone with the progress she continues to make.
Frequent visits to Kailee's doctors at
Baylor Hospital are required. She is still on oxygen that is
monitored at home.
Even though there are some physical
complications right now, Kailee has surpassed the expectations of
many. Her mother contributes some of the progress to a special
formula that Kailee was allowed to use because of her critical
The special formula was implemented by Dr.
Charles Roe and Dr. Jonathan Whitfield. Even though the formula is
still being researched, Shawn and Paul consented and wanted Kailee's
medical team to use it. Since being on the formula, the baby has
steadily increased in weight.
Roe said there were signs that indicated
the formula might work for other premature babies. He said because
of Shawn's experience and willingness to find something to help
Kailee, their experience could possibly also benefit others.
"(They have) pioneered other babies
being helped by the formula," he said.
Roe said new dietary methods were being
explored to improve premature babies.
When Kailee started on the formula she
weighed 1 pound, and 10 ounces. Within two months, her weight had
increased to 5 pounds, and 3 ounces. She will remain on the formula
for 18 months.
The estimated homecoming for Kailee was not
supposed to happen until August, but as usual she surprised everyone
and came home April 7.
"I have been in shock that everything
has happened so fast," Shawn said.
Because Kailee is a preemie, long-term
risks are involved. Her lungs will have to be watched and monitored
for a very long time. Her immune system is not resistant, and for
safety she is not allowed to be in large crowds. Shawn said this
kept both of them very confined.
The prolonged and continued use of oxygen
is a major contributing factor to many of Kailee's physical
problems. Even so, Kailee has shown positive signs of having a
healthy and normal life.
She is alert and her fat little face lights
up at every noise around her. When she wants Mom to pick her up, she
does not hesitate to let Shawn know.
"It only took her four days to figure
that out," Shawn said.
Tthroughout the whole ordeal, Kailee's
brain scan tests have continued to be good .
Because of the constant required care Shawn
and her husband take shifts to take care of Kailee. The other
children, Josh and Samantha, have also been a big help with the
Shawn said the chances for the baby to have
a normal and healthy life look good. The occupational therapist who
works with her said Kailee is doing everything she should be and has
normal baby activity.
Kailee is now four months old and her
prognosis is looking better every day. Considering the fact that
Paul's wedding band would fit on Kailee's wrist when she was 6 weeks
old, she has come a long way.
Although the experience has been difficult,
Shawn is thankful for those who have encouraged and helped out where
they could. The stress of everything was compounded by the fact
their families live out of state.
Shawn said had it not been for the great
doctors, nurses, Roane Baptist Church, and the kids soccer coach
Dave Smith, things would have been more difficult.
"They have been our moral
support," she said. "They helped with doctor office trips
and taking kids to games. They called and checked on us. Everyone
was so good. They have been our surrogate family."
Kailee has developed her own personality
and in Shawn's opinion looks like Paul.
"She looks just like her dad, double
chin and all," Shawn said. "She is just a miracle in so
Barbara Forman may be contacted via e-mail
Kailee Jones weighed just 11 ounces when
she was born premature in February. Today, at seven pounds, her
mother calls her a miracle. Daily Sun Photo/KIRK SIDES
face of a miracle: Kailee Jones, at 9 months old, is making
tremendous progress since weighing just 11 ounces at her birth
By MICAH CHAPLIN/Daily Sun Staff
Life in the Jones household has changed a
lot in the last year. Last November, the family had just found out
they were expecting a much-wanted child. As they shared the good
news with family and friends, there was no way for them to know what
lay ahead in the months to come.
In December, Shawn was referred to a
high-risk physician because her fluids for the baby were low. The
fluids continued to drop and by January, they were almost zero.
Shawn and Paul were devastated. They had been trying for a long time
to get pregnant. Termination of the pregnancy was not an option, in
their mind. After seeking a second opinion which virtually returned
the same results, they decided to let nature take its course and put
their fate, and that of their baby, in God's hands.
Shawn was admitted into early
hospitalization so the baby's heart rate could be monitored. When,
at 26 weeks, the heartbeat dropped dangerously low, the doctor had
no choice but to take her.
Kailee Lynn Jones was born to Shawn and
Paul Jones Jr. in February. She was roughly four months premature
and weighed just 11 ounces at birth.
"There are so many emotions in this
situation," Shawn said. "I was scared, nervous, sad and excited all
The following months were a battle for
little Kailee, as she remained in the hospital and fought for her
Shawn shows pictures from those early days
to demonstrate just how small she was.
"I didn't get to hold her until she was
almost a month old," she said. "And even then, I could just hold her
in my hands."
Looking at the pictures, it is hard to
imagine how something so tiny could persevere as Kailee has. So far,
in her short life, Kailee has proven to be a survivor, as she
continues to beat the odds and amaze her parents and physicians.
She was released from the hospital in June,
which would have been the month of her arrival. Though she continued
to rely on machines to help her breathe, Kailee was well on her way
to living as a normal baby.
"At this point, she has a 99.9 percent
chance of living a completely normal and healthy life," Shawn said.
There are just a few things that set Kailee
apart from most babies. She will be ineligible for daycare for three
years, and she is unable to go out in crowds, which makes life a
little more difficult for the Jones family.
"I'll be in the grocery store, and people
will often come up and touch her hands," Shawn said. "I wish I
didn't have to be mean and ask them not to touch her, but I do."
Precautions are particularly high right
now, during RSV season which lasts through April.
Despite her restrictions, Kailee is making
great progress. Just two weeks ago, Kailee was removed from all
"She does pretty well on her own now,"
Shawn said. "She's still on monitors at night to make sure she's
oxidizing OK, but I don't worry about her as much as I used to."
Kailee also had her one and only surgery a
few weeks in late October to remedy a hernia. Her mother said this
has helped Kailee's substantially.
"Before, she would cry whenever she was on
her stomach," Shawn said. "Now she's able to be on her stomach, and
she rolls from her stomach to back and can lift her head."
Kailee's size makes it difficult to chart
her development, but Shawn maintains Kailee is following her own
"Her doctors would like to see her gain 4
to 5 ounces a week," Shawn said. "Sometimes her weight stays the
same, but she gets bigger in length. So she's doing well."
At 9 months old, Kailee now weighs 7
pounds, which is the average weight for a newborn. She can sit up,
if supported, and likes to look around. She is particularly
fascinated with lights, ceiling fans and new people.
Shawn also says Kailee is very much a
"No matter what, he can always make her
laugh and smile," Shawn said.
Kailee works weekly with an occupational
therapist each week on basic motor skills, such as rolling over and
lifting her arms.
The tiny infant's battle continues, but she
seems determined to perpetuate her defiance of the odds.
It has been a long journey for the entire
family, but they have had a lot of help along the way.
Obviously, first and foremost, are Kailee's
"I'm very thankful for the doctors at
Baylor and the three women at Tiny Tots," Shawn said.
David and Josie Parrish have helped Shawn's
12-year-old daughter Samantha retain a sense of normalcy by driving
her back and forth to soccer practice and games.
"Without them, Samantha probably wouldn't
have been able to be out for soccer," Shawn said. "The Parrishes
help without complaint. I know we couldn't do it without them."
Members of the Roane Baptist Church have
also gone out of their way to check on the family and help in any
way they can.
"They have gone above and beyond to help us
out," Shawn said. "They take us back and forth to doctor's
appointments, so I don't have to go alone, and they're always asking
us if we need anything."
Perhaps the greatest source of help,
however, has come from within the Jones' household. Shawn and Paul
each had children from prior relationships, who have been an
enormous source of aid.
Samantha, along with Josh, Paul's
16-year-old son from a previous marriage, are always eager to help
with their sister.
"Josh recently got his driver's license
which has been a big help to me. He takes his sister to soccer and
will run out and do errands for me," Shawn said. "But, really, they
both help me a lot. I don't even have to ask for their help. They're
really proud of her and they love her to death."
Paul also has another son, 15-year-old
Jeremy, who lives in Illinois, but is equally enamored with his new
"Every time he calls or e-mails, the first
thing he asks is how Kailee is doing," Shawn said.
Most of Kailee's immediate family lives in
Illinois, which makes frequent visits difficult. Shawn's mother
stayed in Texas during Kailee's first three weeks and returned, with
many other members, to visit in May.
Kailee recently made her first trip to
Illinois in September. She will have her second trip around
Christmas time, but Shawn believes this trip will be much different
from the first one.
"The car was so packed with all the typical
baby stuff, plus the machines needed to help her breathe. We drove
up with a car and came home with a van," Shawn said. "This time
should be much easier. All we will have is emergency oxygen and
The Jones family has a lot for which to be
"She's definitely a miracle. I can't
imagine life without her," Shawn said. "She's proof that everything
will find a way. The first half of the year was tough, but the
second half is making up for it."
Micah Chaplin can be reached via e-mail at
After being born four months premature and
weighing 11 oz., Kailee Jones has beaten a lot of odds. Daily
Sun photo/LOYD COOK
celebrity: Kailee Jones' story draws national press
By MICAH CHAPLIN/Daily Sun Staff
Chatfield's miracle baby has been receiving
some national attention. Born four months premature and weighing
just 11 oz., little Kailee Jones has battled a long road to get to
13 months and 9 lbs. 10 oz. As a result, Kailee has captured the
eyes and hearts of people beyond Navarro County.
Good Housekeeping featured the infant in
the March issue, which will be leaving stands soon.
Producers from the "Montel Williams Show"
were interested after reading the story in Good Housekeeping, and
the Jones' were planning on an April 17 taping. Funding, however,
became an obstacle too big for the "Montel Williams Show," and the
plans were delayed.
"They can't afford to fly us all out there
at this time," Shawn Jones, Kailee's mom, said. "But, maybe sometime
in the near future."
In the meantime, doctors are fairly pleased
with Kailee's progress.
"She's doing great," Shawn said. "They want
her to gain more weight, so they've been trying different things to
help her gain some more weight."
Beyond that, Shawn says Kailee is making
great strides. She recently celebrated her first birthday with the
help of her family and four families from her dad's work.
"She played in her cake and everything,"
Shawn said. "She's been rolling across the floor now, and if her
hands aren't busy, she can almost support herself."
Life has nearly returned to normal for the
Jones'. With RSV season gone past, the Jones' have been able to take
Kailee out in public more, which includes a return to church, where
much of their support has come from since Kailee's birth.
Micah Chaplin may be contacted via e-mail
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