Jules Morgan Brantley
November 24, 2004-December 14, 2004
Julie Brantley was born full term at Arnold Palmer Children's
in Orlando, Florida at 10:32am on November 24, my son
and daughter-in-law's first born. She cried once and that was the last time we heard her voice.
Julie lived 21 days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) attached to various machines, which would maintain her life while doctors all over the world attempted to diagnose her medical conditions. During this time Julie fought valiantly to live, although in the end the doctors said "she should have never lived a day".
During this awful time Julie tried so hard to live. She taught us all what suffering really was and humbled us as to how fragile life could be. Friends and family all diligently prayed for Julie's life but in the end it would be God's decision and Julie's. We all took our turns visiting Julie at her little bed in a quiet corner of the NICU. Her head was elevated and giant machines hummed all around. She learned to recognize our voices and responded with a movement, hand grip and sometimes an increased heart rate. It was during one of these visits that Julie decided she really wanted to see me. Less than 2 weeks old, she tilted her head and rolled her eyes back toward me. My son said, "move to the side, she hears your voice and wants to see you."
She followed me all the way around to her side and we stared deeply into each other's eyes for what seemed an eternity. "Julie," I conveyed to her silently, "I am not sure what you are telling me or what your mission on this earth is but one day I will know". She closed her eyes and that was the last time she was awake for my visits.
Julie's condition worsened and exploratory surgery could not be postponed. It was during this procedure that the doctors realized what a fight Julie had given but it was never meant to be. We all said our goodbyes and Julie completed her mission here on earth.
By Dee Brantley
Founder of Julie's Mission