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-Grace had chronic lung disease being born at only 24 weeks. Her lungs were severely underdeveloped.

-She had respiratory distress syndrome, which required a lot of respiratory support and medication because of her difficulty breathing.

-She would need tracheal intubation right away, a means of mechanical ventilation support. She was on ventilators, CPAP and oxygen through the nasal cannula for many months.

-She had a sepsis-bacteria infection in the blood. Doctors don’t know how she got it, but it came possibly via her IV lines or equipment. She was treated with antibiotics.

-Respiratory distress syndrome and chronic lung disease developed bronchopulminary dysplasia, which is caused by abnormal development of lung tissue and characterized by inflammation and scarring in the lungs, which Grace fought during her nine-month hospital stay.

-She had gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is a severe form of acid reflux. Grace ended up needing a Nissen fundoplication surgery to help lesson the acid backing up in her esophagus. During that surgery they installed a gastrostomy tube, which helps Grace eat through the abdomen and delivers nutrition directly to the stomach. The g-tube was removed in 2006.

-Grace suffered from retinopathy of prematurity, where abnormal blood vessels grow and spread throughout the retina. The blood vessels become weak and can leak, scarring the retina. Grace needed laser treatment for that.

-A cardiac catherization procedure helped diagnose pulmonary hypertension, a kind of blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs and the right side of the heart. That led Grace to her final surgery, a tracheostomy, which creates a breathing hole in her windpipe. That was removed in 2006.

Jennifer Schwertfeger has a degree in mass communications from Minnesota State University. She says she’s always loved to write. She found herself needing an outlet. Writing about Grace’s odyssey seemed like a natural fit, especially during times when Grace’s condition was dire.

“It was really difficult for us,” she said. “Grace went through so many surgeries.”

She set up a CaringBridge site and began journaling.

“My whole life I’ve loved writing,” she said. “Journaling was very therapeutic for me. I didn’t know how I was going to get through it.”

Eventually, she decided there might be a grander purpose to the meeting of her daughter’s story and her love of writing. She decided to turn that journaling into a book.

“Life with Grace,” which is due out soon, is Schwertfeger’s self-published effort to make her experience beneficial to other families of premature babies.

She sent it to a few publishing companies. But it wasn’t until her mom died that she got serious. She died in 2012 of cardiac amyloidosis.

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