Kailee Lynn Jones
Navarro County, Texas


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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


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 routine.

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 immense.

"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 relationships.

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 fertility drug.

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 excruciating.

"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 newborn's alertness.

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 [email protected]

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


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 ecstatic.

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 them.

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," Shawn said.

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 condition.

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 baby.

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 many ways."

Barbara Forman may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].


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

11/28/2002 The 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 at once."

The following months were a battle for little Kailee, as she remained in the hospital and fought for her life.

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 breathing apparatus.

"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 growth chart.

"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 daddy's girl.

"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 doctors.

"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 sibling.

"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 medicine."

The Jones family has a lot for which to be thankful today.

"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 [email protected].


After being born four months premature and weighing 11 oz., Kailee Jones has beaten a lot of odds. Daily Sun photo/LOYD COOK

4/7/2003 Little 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 at [email protected]




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