"A deal is a promise and a promise is unbreakable." The famous quote by Wonder Woman might become a mantra for a little girl in Windsor.
Addy just turned one this past week and every day she has fought for life to follow-up on a deal she made with the respiratory therapist called in to help save her life.
Addy was born at 28 weeks. She was in such frail condition at a hospital in Loveland, doctors decided to send her to Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora. Her mom, Elaine Hungenberg, spent a few precious minutes with her newborn.
"No one wants to relive a day where you almost lose a child and you say goodbye to a child because they told you she wasn't going to make it," said Hungenberg.
Zach Quinby is a respiratory therapist with the Children's Hospital Flight Team. All of the helicopters were out that day, so his team needed to bring Addy to Children's by ambulance. To make that 60 mile drive, he needed to get Addy on a ventilator.
"I couldn’t get her settled in on that breathing machine. Every time I would put her on the ventilator, on the breathing machine, she would get worse," Quinby recalled. "I tried it five or six times to try to get her to level out. My partner kept saying, 'she likes it when you’re bagging.'"
Quinby listened to his partner and decided to "hand bag" Addy all the way to Aurora - manually pushing air into her lungs.
"So we were driving back on I-25 in rush hour traffic and there I was breathing for this baby," said Quinby. "And I made a deal with her in the back of that ambulance, I said 'I’m not going to quit until you quit' and I’m really thrilled with how she has kept up her end of the deal."
Addy spent months in the NICU at Children's. She weighed just two pounds at birth and suffered multiple setbacks. She is home, but still goes through several hours of therapy every day.
Her first birthday was cause for a huge celebration. Elaine invited family, friends and Zach.
"Of course we invited him," Hungenberg laughed. "Why wouldn't Zach be here? He's family now."
Zach has been on the Children's Flight Team for ten years and has never experienced a case like Addy's. He says it still gives him goosebumps.
He wrote a special message to Addy on her birthday card. It reads: "Happy Birthday little friend. A year ago we made a deal. I wasn't going to give up on you, if you didn't give up on me. My goodness have you kept up your end of the bargain. I'm so proud of you."
Mom says it all makes sense. "Zach is our superhero and Addy is Wonder Woman and we are superheroes together and we're conquering the world."