Troy McDaniel remembers November 6, 2010 well.
“I was there holding my wife’s hand and I remember praying, ‘God please give us strength and give our baby strength.’ I was praying for a miracle.”
Taliya McDaniel was born at 1:26 p.m. just minutes after her father’s desperate prayer. She was three months early. Her tiny body weighed only one pound eight ounces.
“She was immediately rushed away by nurses,” Troy said. “I remember feeling helpless and completely off balance, mentally and emotionally.”
Taliya fought complications from the premature birth. Conditions like pulmonary hypertension and chronic lung disease from being on ventilator support.
Troy says his daughter was taken off ventilator support after being in the hospital for nine months. “Eventually, she was well enough to come home for the first time. She required very little support.”
Taliya was doing well. She had been home for nearly six weeks; however, she was diagnosed with pancreatitis as a result from a powerful corticosteroid medication. She was admitted to the hospital on Labor Day 2011.
“Shortly after she was admitted, she became very swollen causing respiratory distress. She had to be entubated, so she could breathe,” Troy recalls.
Not having full function of her core muscles made it difficult for Taliya to be weaned off the ventilator.
In March of 2012, Taliya was admitted to The Children’s Center for specialized care. Nearly every day since then, Troy has been by her side.
“I always say to her, ‘I know I am the adult, but I look up to you. You are my little warrior’.”
The sacrifices do not end there. Troy is working to obtain his college degree, one he hopes will help provide for his family.
“I feel she deserves a comfortable life and as her father it is my responsibility to provide that, and the way to get there is by obtaining my education.”
Troy is working towards a mass communications degree with a major in broadcasting. He would like to attend bible school after graduation, and then deliver ministry and testimony through a broadcasting career.
Troy says there is one person who provides him motivation through the tough times.
“Taliya, Taliya, Taliya! When I look at her, I see strength. When she looks at me, I want her to see the same. It is amazing how her smile changes my life in a matter of seconds.”
Life certainly changed in a matter of seconds on November 6, 2010 for Troy McDaniel. It is change that has made him see life in a much different light.
“Love has a new meaning for me. Not everyone can have children, or want children but God chose me to be a father. I get to say I am a father and love it.”
Help The Children's Center provide services to families like Troy and Taliya by making a donation in honor of your father this Father's Day. Contact Heidi Russell at (405) 440-6714 for more information.