Who: Hannah Julieanne Miszler of Tafton entered the world Jan. 21 as a micro-preemie, weighing just 1.7 pounds and measuring 12.5 inches long. Her mother, Melanie Wheeler, had already faced gestational diabetes and undiagnosed pre-eclampsia when she found out 30 weeks into her pregnancy that her placenta was no longer functioning. Rushed to Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, Wheeler delivered her daughter by emergency C-section. While small and facing several health issues, the blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl already has shown a feisty personality and sweet disposition, and her family, which also includes father Charles Miszler Jr., said Hannah enjoys being held, fed, read to and talked to.
What: The placenta’s failure to deliver the proper nutrients to Hannah resulted in her low birth weight, with her health concerns having included intrauterine growth disorder, fetal growth restriction, ineffective thermoregulation, apnea and anemia of prematurity. Doctors are doing further tests to make sure Hannah does not have thyroid or heart issues, and she will need early intervention after leaving the hospital, including occupational, physical and speech therapies.
Why: Hannah and her family have faced a chaotic and stressful period that includes keeping her isolated in the neonatal intensive care unit until she reaches her original due date later this month. While Wheeler stays at the Hackerman-Patz House in the Lehigh Valley — lodging for families with hospitalized loved ones — and works remotely, Miszler continues to work more than 60 hours per week for a company in White Mills. He travels between Northeast Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley to visit his daughter and fiancee on weekends while also trying to finish construction on their home before Hannah leaves the hospital. Her parents remain hands-on in her care but face the stress of having not only a newborn but also a micro-preemie with numerous and still unknown health issues. Donations will help cover the family’s travel, medical and care expenses as Hannah remains hospitalized and beyond.
How: The public can donate through Hannah’s GoFundMe page or mail donations to Hannah Miszler, c/o Melanie Wheeler, 753 E. Drinker St., Dunmore, PA 18512.
In her own words: “So far in this journey, having the support of family, friends and complete strangers has meant a great deal to this little family. The prayers, encouragement and donations have helped lighten the load during this difficult time of need.” — Melanie Wheeler, mother
Caitlin Heaney West is the content editor for Access NEPA and oversees the Early Access blog in addition to working as a copy editor and staff writer for The Times-Tribune. An award-winning journalist, she is a summa cum laude graduate of Shippensburg University and also earned a master’s degree from Marywood University. Caitlin joined the Times-Shamrock family in 2009 and lives in Scranton. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5107; or @cheaneywest