I’ve lost count of the number of times people have said to me with wide eyed expressions “How are you alive?” Many times people look at me and shake their heads. It’s a will and a drive from deep within that pushes me forward every time I’m up against a wall of struggle. How is it that I am alive today in 2015? Being an internationally published author/compiler, and an Empowerment Leader/Speaker. Let me back up and share with you a story of how I came into this world.
My Mum, Wendy Hutton, found out that she had a weak cervix. On Oct. 6, 1976, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, at Riverside Hospital I was born, 3 months early, at 26 weeks gestation. My weight was 1 pound 12 ounces (787 grams), and was given 24hrs to live. I was immediately rushed to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). The director of the NICU, had never seen a baby as small as me. I was one of his first tiny ones. They did not expect me to live, and even told my parents this. While living in the NICU I had set backs such as being severely apneic because my lungs weren’t fully developed, as well as other infections that entered my blood, throat and stomach. At one point my weight dropped to 1 pound 6 ounces (737 grams). I was closely monitored by a team of nurses (who even baptized me in the NICU because I was so sick), and doctors.
On Dec. 22nd I grew big enough to go home at 4.87 pounds (2210 grams). Once home, there were other problems – I walked late and talked late and sometimes I didn’t eat enough food. This is what I’ve been told is ‘normal’ for extreme or micro preemies. Going to school was another huge challenge, having been diagnosed as a ‘slow learner’ in elementary school. I repeated grade 3, and had lots of extra help in my core subjects, such as math, spelling, grammar, reading, and comprehension.
I did graduate, however, from all of my academic studies, and even completed a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies in 2000 from Lakehead University, in Thunder Bay, ONT.
After university, I moved to Calgary, AB, where I wear many hats in my personal and professional life. I work during the day with adults living with developmental disabilities in the community and I am an Empowerment Leader helping tween and teen girls believe in themselves, when they think no one does, through my business called Inch by Inch Empowerment. I am an International Best Selling Author with 2 co-authored books.
I compiled my very own book this past summer (Aug. 2014) called “Inch by Inch Growing in Life”. The book is an international best seller, and also received a 5 out of 5 star review on Readers Favorite’s out of Florida. This anthology has 30 stories about children overcoming adversity under the age of 12. I am very proud of this book, as it is also a fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, he NICU specifically. So far to date I have raised over $3000 for the NICU. The book today is available on Amazon for sale, and 1/3 of the book proceeds are going to the NICU.
My family and I am truly grateful for all the doctors and nurses from the ‘early years’ of CHEO being open. If it wasn’t for their dedication, non-stop work, and drive to save my life I wouldn’t be here today sharing my story. Thank YOU CHEO!
There are three tips that I want to give to you on how you can get through any situation and subconsciously it’s how I got through those first few years of my life, and even now as an adult, it’s how I have overcome all the challenges in my life. It takes a team to make dreams come true.
1) Put one foot in front of the other. No matter how big or small the step is. Just keep moving forward. Take a step towards your goals, your dreams. Encourage your children to create goals and help them take steps to move towards them. I had chosen to do that as a baby, if I wanted to live, I had to keep going no matter what.
2) Believe in yourself. If I didn’t have the will and the fight in me as a preemie baby I wouldn’t be here today. I can only imagine those quiet lonely nights the first few months of my life fighting to live. I could have given up even then. Yet I didn’t I believed in me.
3) Let others help you. Ask for help, people can’t read your mind either. I had to let the nurses and doctors help me. And my parents had to both ask for help for me, and then let the doctors and specialists help me to grow. It takes team work to make the dream work. People will want to help you. Let them!
About Amie: Hailing from Calgary, Alberta, Canada Aime is a true survivor. Being born 3 months early was just the start of her struggles she has overcome in her lifetime. Aime is now an Empowerment Leader helping tween and teen girls believe in themselves when they think no one does. She is also a 3 time International Best Selling Author/Compiler, and Canadian Ambassador for the Freedom & Empowerment Campaign, a global campaign dealing with domestic abuse/dating violence. Where she won the International Ambassador of the Year for 2013.