Harrison was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which is buildup of spinal fluid on the brain, at 28 weeks gestation and had a shunt placed at one day old to drain fluid.
“We were terrified,” said Hailey Burnham, remembering the day they were told. “My poor husband tried so hard to console me, but I just couldn’t grasp the fact that something was wrong with my baby. After a few more appointments, another ultrasound and an MRI, they concluded it was hydrocephalus, and it was caused by a brain hemorrhage.”
The couple decided that Harrison would be delivered at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, where a neurosurgeon would place a shunt in Harrison’s brain right after his birth to drain the fluid from his brain.
“I have to say it was one of the scariest nine weeks of my life, waiting on his delivery. Feb. 22, 2011 at 2:11 p.m.,” Burnham recalled.
Harrison Mitchel Burnham made his way into this world, but his parents only got to see him for a short while. He was whisked him away to the NICU due to him suffering from respiratory failure.
“They were hesitant to do the surgery at first,” said Burnham. “But at the last minute, they decided to go ahead with it when he was a day old.”
The Burnhams stayed at Vanderbilt for two weeks before they were released to go home, but while there, family and friends would drive down to visit and show their support.
“I have an older son, Hudson, who was a few weeks shy of 3 when Harrison was born. They wouldn’t let Hudson go see Harrison until he was out of the NICU and into a regular room,” Burnham said. “One night, I was getting ready to go see Harrison and my mom was going to take Hudson back to her hotel room. I asked Hudson if he wanted me to tell his bubby anything. He thought about it for a brief second and said, ‘God is good!’”