Friday marked the first birthday for a little girl who won the hearts of North Texas through the story about her heart.
The celebration for baby Olivia’s birth last February abruptly ended when her doctor heard a murmur in her heart. After a series of medical emergencies, she needed a heart so desperately that she was placed at the top of the federal donor list.
Now, baby Olivia is like any other one-year-old and has practically no signs of her near-death experiences or the four months she spent confined to a hospital bed.
There was a time when Olivia's parents, Miguel Solis and Jacqueline Nortman, never thought her first birthday would come.
“To be here finally at her one-year mark is truly miraculous,” Nortman said.
“There was a point when we thought her seven-day birthday would be the only one we would be able to celebrate with her,” Solis said. “We got hospital cupcakes, couple of hospital balloons and presents and said a prayer.”
As the baby of Dallas ISD Board Trustee Miguel Solis and pediatrician Dr. Jaqueline Nortman, many others in North Texas were praying for Olivia too.
At three months, Olivia received a new heart.
“It's something I want to celebrate as she gets older,” Nortman said. “I want her to know her donor or about him. It was a little boy.”
The boy was 18 months old. The Solis family is now making plans to meet his family.
The journey to health hasn't been easy. The Solises finally arrived home four months after Olivia's birth. Now, she is melting hearts.
“Gone from 40- 50 syringes of medicine a day to just above 10-12 total now,” Nortman said. “She's making great advances in her therapies and progressing faster than anyone could have imagined.”
“At the end of the day, nothing was more powerful than faith and prayer,” Solis said.
The theme of Olivia's small birthday party is Wonder Woman, for obvious reasons.
So far, Olivia has defied all the odds of what doctors expected her to be able to do right now.