I was born at Long Beach Memorial Hospital in 1972. Doctors scrambled to keep me alive with multiple surgeries as my esophagus and trachea were not fully developed; a feeding tube was inserted in my stomach, and I developed pneumonia.
When days turned to weeks, relatives encouraged my mom to run home and take a nap. But my mom, Vicki, would have none of it. She refused to leave.
Weeks later as we drove home from the hospital, Mom told Dad she would be sleeping on the floor under my crib for the time being. He knew from her tone and forward stare that her mind was made up.
In and out of the hospital for 11 months, while taking care of my two older brothers, my mother continued to sleep under my crib for the first 12 months of my life.