Brandon Dahley’s Life Story Chapter 1

May 1993

Brandon Newborn

Brandon Michael Dahley,

You were two weeks over due and no one was more excited for your arrival than your mom and dad! On Friday, May 14, 1993 mom woke up not feeling well and had an OBGYN appointment already scheduled that day for a stress test. During that appointment we were told to head to hospital to be induced into labor, it was finally time for your arrival. 


Once we got to the hospital, and after I was all hooked up and settled in, I told your dad he could head to the office for a couple of hours, since he hadn’t reported to work that day. However, less than an hour after he left, you showed signs of distress and I immediately had to call him back to the hospital. At around 2pm we were wheeled into the operating room for an emergency C-section. 

Once in the OR, everyone was rushing around and one of the nurses Immediately started asking me questions I had never thought about, and frankly didn’t know how to answer. Questions like, did I want my baby to receive a newborn screening test for certain genetic, but treatable, conditions done immediately after birth? I didn’t say this out loud, but my first thought was, “how much is this going to cost and is it something my insurance will cover?” We were young, first-time parents, and this was not something I had ever even heard of before. It certainly wasn’t something that was discussed during any of the OB visits or in our birthing classes.

In 1993 SCID was not part of the recommended universal newborn screening panel, but had it been, the screening would have come back positive and we would have been referred to an Immunologist for a diagnosis within a couple weeks of your birth. Thankfully, in 2010 it was added to the panel and by December of 2018 all 50 states were routinely screening.

A few hours in the recovery room and it was finally time for mom and Brandon to continue their bond, outside of the womb. There was a room full of visitors waiting for your mom to hurry up and hold you so they could finally get their own chance. Up until then, mom had given dad strict instructions that he was the only one to hold and feed you. You looked PERFECT; 5 lbs. 8 ounces (small and petit like both of your parents were tiny when they were born), 19 ½ inches long, a little bit of beautiful brown hair and blue eyes that later turned a gorgeous brown. We couldn’t believe how alert Brandon was just hours after his birth and there were no indications there was anything wrong with him.

Just a few of the visitors waiting that came that day, anxious to meet the precious new baby.

The rest of the month of May was spent with friends and family, including visits from the out-of-town great-grandparents. We eagerly showed you off at dad’s work and went to visit both sides of the family on an almost daily basis.  For most of the family, this was the first grandchild, so Brandon was very much admired and adored!

Shortly after birth, at your first well visit with the doctor you were up to 6 lbs. 14 ounces, and everything looked good. The doctor instructed us to keep Brandon on the same formula diet and come back at two months of age. Still, no indication that anything was wrong with Brandon’s immune system at this point and life with him seemed perfect.