Sophia Catherine DuFrane was a surprise baby. Her parents had finally stopped trying after failed fertility treatments, 2 miscarriages and many, many prayers. They just assumed that they were meant to be a family of four and decided to be happy with that. But God had other plans. Sophie was very active inside her mommy’s belly. Her brother and sister Max (10) and Emmi (14) would put their mouth up to Mom’s tummy and talk or sing, and she would kick in return.
Born on September 5th 2003, Sophie was her daddy’s only biological child. She weighed 4 lbs and 2 oz. and didn’t cry when she was born. She had a hard time breathing and needed to have a tube inserted in her windpipe and was hooked up to a ventilator to help her breathe. Soon though, she began breathing on her own and even began taking her mother’s milk through a bottle. But Sophie still wasn’t able to come to her mother’s room in the hospital and needed to stay in the intensive care nursery hooked up to what seemed like unending tubes. The nurses said she was a fighter. The next day a doctor told her parents that she had a genetic condition called Trisomy 18, and that this condition was fatal. He said that she would never respond to her parents or smile, that it would even be alright to choose not to continue to feed her and to go home, leaving her in the hospital to die. After all, she would only live for 24-48 hours. But God had other plans.
Her parents decided to do everything for her that they would do for their other children. So, after a mandatory CPR course, Sophie’s parents brought her home with oxygen and a plan for nurses to visit occasionally to check on her. 2 months later, she was rushed to the hospital and required a tracheotomy tube to help her breathe. Her parents needed to leave Emmi and Max with someone else to stay in the hospital with Sophia for a month, and her father was barely able to work. When she was finally allowed to come home, she had doctors orders to have a nurse come for 8 hours every night so her parents could sleep. She woke up every hour and a half for her entire life. Most often there were no nurses available, and her parents became her nurses. They were completely and utterly exhausted.
Sophia couldn’t go anywhere she might catch a cold. Her parents were not able to attend Emmi and Max’s school functions, go out on dates, or even walk down the driveway to get the mail out of the mailbox. Grocery shopping and car rides were a risk. She had to have suction equipment and oxygen wherever she went.
Sophia Catherine DuFrane lived one day short of 19 months. She was a feisty little black haired-blue eyed girl who cuddled and smiled at her family, especially daddy. She ate and grew and even learned the sign for “more”. Everyone loved her so, and they are all very glad that God had other plans.