Mallets, Seguras chosen by the March of Dimes
Many of you know the story of my daughter, Lisa Witzell Mallet and her son, my grandson, Carson as told here: A RARE SURVIVOR.
They have once again been featured in their local news, and it’s all for a GREAT cause, The March of Dimes. I hope their story inspires you to see the March of Dimes logo in the sidebar of this blog and make a donation in their names.
Mallet said her life, and the life of her son Carson, are the direct result of efforts made by the March of Dimes, a health charity that has evolved over time from curing polio to preventing birth defects and premature births.
Mallet and her husband, Cody, along with James and Laurie Segura of New Iberia, have been named 2011 March of Dimes Ambassador Families for the Acadiana Chapter due to their success in surviving premature births.
The Acadiana Chapter covers a region in southwest Louisiana, including Lafayette, Lake Charles, Opelousas and New Iberia.
“A lot of times families sign up online or we ask them to come on board,” Vanessa Ladnier, community director for the March of Dimes, said. “These particular families came to us from a previous team captain or board member who knew them.”
Ladnier added that the chapter varies the amount of ambassador families each year depending on who gets referred to them.
Survival was ‘miracle’
Lisa and Cody Mallet first became involved with the March of Dimes when Lisa was pregnant with Carson in August 2009.
While pregnant, she contracted a rare and deadly disease, acinetobacter bumanii, nicknamed “Iraqibacter,” an infection that can cause high fevers and debilitating lung problems.
Lisa Mallet said because of this, she was forced to have Carson by C-section nearly three months ahead of her scheduled due date in November, leaving her newborn in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Lafayette while she was in a medical coma at Lafayette General Medical.
Mallet awoke from her coma more than two months later, but she said she was unaware she had given birth or that her baby was even alive.
“When I realized I wasn’t pregnant, I said, ‘Where is my baby?’ ” Lisa Mallet said.
Now a year after her ordeal, Mallet said she and Carson are experiencing few health problems, other than needing to be extremely careful of catching germs because they are both immuno-compromised.
“Overall it was just a miracle,” Cody Mallet said. “He was (the doctor’s) favorite, he was their miracle baby.”
Lisa and Cody were nominated to be ambassadors through the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office, where Cody works as a deputy.
The couple said they will be involved with the March of Dimes for the rest of their lives because of the great things they were able to provide for their family.
Giving back to others
Laurie Segura said that premature babies run in the family. Her husband, James, was born premature in 1965, as well as her son Drake, who is now 10 years old.
For James and Laurie Segura, however, their miracle happened more than 16 years ago, when they gave birth to Natalie, who also was born prematurely.
“She was born with heart arrhythmia and was in the intensive care unit for about 20 days,” Laurie Segura said.
Laurie Segura also said when Natalie was born in Lafayette, doctors told her that they had never seen that type of arrhythmia before, where her heart would be beating normally before entering into an arrhythmia for a short period of time.
Eventually, she and her husband took Natalie to doctors in New Orleans, where doctors were able to treat it.
“As time went on, it started to go away and by 2 months old, it was gone,” Laurie Segura said.
Laurie Segura, who also works at the Sheriff’s Office, said she first became involved with the March of Dimes due to her employment.
She was eventually contacted by the March of Dimes office because the organization was looking for a family with an older child. The family had not worked with the March of Dimes while Laurie Segura was pregnant.
“Well they were looking for a teenager and an adult,” Laurie Segura said. “They knew my daughter was premature.”
She said that now both mother and daughter are involved in the project, with Laurie and James Segura raising money as adult ambassadors while Natalie is a teenage ambassador.
Laurie Segura said Natalie, a sophomore at Catholic High School, has been able to make contacts through her friends and online social networks to get the word out.
Continuing the work
Ladnier said the Mallets and Seguras will be ambassador families through the end of 2011, when the chapter will select its families for 2012. She said that the selection process is on-going, with the agency asking people that they know if there are any families that they would like to nominate or volunteer for next year.
Interested families can contact the March of Dimes at 337-233-8476 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, Ladnier said.
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Mallets, Seguras chosen by the March of Dimes
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