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Today's Miracle Photography: Lexi Jewel Forgy

Throughout Life, we have people placed in our path that isn't "blood " family, but they quickly become family. This was the case when I met Shayla Forgy several years ago. She honestly felt like my daughter from the second I met her, now I've considered her just that for many many years. When she and Jeff welcomed Lexi into the world, she immediately became our granddaughter. This story I wrote was probably the most personal story I've ever written and the hardest. The first story is one I did while Lexi was still living (her last days), and the one that follows, is one Shayla put together after Lexi had passed. The selfish in me wanted her to live and stay here on this earth with us, but I knew God needed her much more than we did and her suffering was heartbreaking. I'm so blessed that Jeff and Shayla shared their beautiful child with Dennis and I. Every year on her birthday the family gathers to release balloons and have Lexi a birthday party. I heard a song just the day after she passed called "Dancing In The Sky," I knew God sent that song my way so I could deal with this horrific loss and know that Lexi is a much better place. That song will forever be my favorite and Lexi will forever be with us.

Lexi Jewel Forgy
 6-25-14 passed May 15, 2015
On June 25, 2014, Jeff and Shayla Forgy were so excited to both becoming parents for the first time. They knew their angel would be a girl and her name would be Lexi Jewel. At 7:55 a.m. Ms. Lexi entered the world. But it wasn't the happy beginning that all parents hope to happen. Immediately after birth, Lexi was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), accompanied by dad while mom lay in recovery not having any idea what had just happened and what was wrong with her baby girl.
After five days in the Medical Center with no answers of what could be going on, they were transferred to the NICU at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. This was their home for a month, and they finally began receiving the answers they so desperately needed.
When talking to Shayla, this is the way she described Lexi's condition " Lexi doesn't have just one "specific" diagnosis, she has several combined diagnosis." This makes up one beautiful miracle child. One of the diagnosis is Agenesis of the corpus callosum. In my language, that translates into she is missing the white matter that connects the sides of her brain. Due to having Laryngomalacia, which is an obstruction in her airway, Lexi had to have a tracheostomy on Dec. 17, 2014. This has helped incredibly with Lexi's breathing. Lexi has also been diagnosed with arthrogryposis, which is tightening of the joints and rocker bottom feet. As you can tell by the photos, it has affected her hands and feet.

Lexi also has a disorder with her nervous system, and this causes her to have unbelievable fevers that most children (nor adults) would ever live through. This is caused by what the doctors call "autonomic storming." When Lexi becomes upset, her fever spikes up, and sometimes to unbelievable levels. Since they came home on July 21, they have returned to Vandy with fevers seven times. Her highest at that time was Halloween; it was 107.5. They were released in December; they were sent home with Hospice. Since there's no way for them to stop Lexi's fevers, they just have to try to control them at home. On March 2, Lexi had her worse fever to date, an unbelievable 109.1. Yes, you read that right, 109.1. It was treated at home by her Hospice nurse, with Dr. Hall, her doctor from Vandy on the phone. I can't imagine the terror they felt and witnessed that day as Lexi lay lifeless with a fever that would have ended most any life.
When I asked Shayla to describe her and dad's days with Lexi, she said " very, very hectic and demanding." I said give me one word to describe your life since Lexi was born and her word was "rewarding." Lexi has taught Shayla and Jeff so much about love. The love they have for Lexi is just so incredible to watch.

Lexi has been a remarkable blessing to all that not only know her personally but also to those that just follow this wonderful family on social media. We are extremely close to Jeff, Shayla, and Lexi, they are like our family, and I will say they are so amazing. God could not have chosen a better, more loving set of parents for this angel. The blessings Jeff & Shayla have received from Lexi Jewel is something that can't be put into words, it's felt from the heart.
Please always remember to keep this family in your prayers and follow my page for periodic updates as I've been so blessed to be able to cover this journey with The Forgy family.

When it was brought to my attention, by Shayla Forgy that October is Infant Loss Awareness Month, I was so hesitant to ask the question "are you ready." Remember, it's only been five short months that heaven gained the most beautiful angel of all time, Lexi Jewel Forgy. Shayla, which I consider one of my own girls, had amazed me with her strength for years, long before she ever married her incredible husband Jeff, (which I adore by the way) said: "yes, I love talking about Lexi."
The story you're about to read was written by Shayla. She told me it would be easier for her to write it, and then give it to me to "make right." There's no need for me to "make it right," this is their story, and the only ones that can make it "right" is them. So following is the story of The Life of Lexi Jewel Forgy, written by mommy, Shayla Forgy.
The Wait.....
Oh, the joys of finding out you are going to be blessed with a precious baby girl. What should we name her, who will she look like, man she is going to be so spoiled. The months were long, but everything went well. Stubborn already they said as we scheduled a C-section for June 25. June 24th, of course, I was miserable. But everything was assembled. Everything was washed up. All we needed was our baby girl to make her grand appearance.
GRAND appearance...
Boy did she ever make one. Day one thru three is really hazy to me. All I knew was that our baby was "sick." The next ten months were no different. Oh, she was sick. The days were long and the nights were even longer, but, whatever it took, we would do ANYTHING.
I Prayed For This Day....
May 14th, sickness took over. The sickness took over. The hospice nurse gave us answers. The ones no one should ever have to hear. But the ones we had tried and tried to prepare for. I'm just not sure there's any way to prepare your body, your mind or anything else for that matter of having to hear that your child, your own flesh, and blood, the one that you would lay down your own life for, has hours to live.
We kissed, and we hugged, and we rocked, and we prayed. We prayed for God to let her suffer no more. We had watched her suffer so much in her very short ten months.
Answered Prayers....
At 2:44 a.m. on May 15, ten months and 20 days later, God answered our prayers. It was absolutely the hardest moment of my life, so much running through my head. But nothing could help my heart. I knew she was gone, I knew I had to give her body up, but I just couldn't convince myself that it had come to this. But for this, I had prayed.
Going Through The Motions...
The next few days were a blur. My body as so numb but my heart seemed to be completely gone., shattered into so many pieces. The arrangements were made, the funeral home filled with our family, our friends and even complete strangers.
Lexi had made an impression on every one of these people, never speaking a word, never laughing out loud. Most sounds were only her fights and struggles. But she "spoke" to so many people. Through all of this, my heart, now and then, could smile.
Going Through The Emotions.....
The numbness begins to wear off, and it's nothing but raw emotions; every single day after has been a roller coaster of emotions. I love to look back, remember and laugh. I love to think about the people who came out of the woodwork to always make sure we had everything we needed. I love to think about the amazing people we were able to meet and see, the wonderful work being done at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital.
Even though I try so hard only to see how blessed we were, there are always those bad days, the days I "pull" myself out of bed. The days I feel so incomplete. The days it's so unfair. She was ours, and we loved her more than anything. Those days and nights are the longest. I don't think I will ever feel whole again. On those bad days, I like to remind myself that Lexi is perfect now. That she is in the arms of Jesus. How could I not be happy for her? How could I be so selfish?
I know I will never be the person I was before Lexi and I'm 100% ok with that. The death of a child is awful. There are just no words to describe the pain. But I am now a mommy, and Jeff is a daddy. It has taught us to appreciate every single minute, every little sign Lexi sends our way. Most of all, it has taught us that God does hear and answer our prayers!!
My husband Dennis (aka Pappy Lanham) and I just want to add that having Lexi in our lives is one of the biggest blessings we've ever had. We consider her one of our grandchildren, and she's always a part of what we do, and my "blood" granddaughters love her like she is one of them. We thank God daily for the blessing of Lexi being brought into this world for teaching people how to love. If you've never heard the song "Dancing In the Sky" I recommend you listen to it. It's my song to Lexi, and it's as perfect as she is.

If you haven't read the story I did several months ago about Lexi's illness, not long before she went dancing with the angels, you’re welcome to do so. I will tag it to the top of my page after this story.
I can't thank Shayla and Jeff enough for sharing with us all. They've always been so unselfish and so wonderful. They truly know how much the world loves our (as my husband calls her) Sweet Baby Lexi.
Lexi Jewel Forgy
Born...June 25, 2014- Gained her Wings....May 15, 2015



About Debby:
In 2014, I felt a calling from God to change the course of my photography. Here is a little info on Today's Miracle Photography:

Memories last forever; I have a deep passion for photography and writing, and have had for many years. I wanted to tie these two together and use my passion for the glory of God. When our granddaughter Lexi (not by blood) was born, and shortly passed, I felt God wanted me to share her story, from that point on, I've felt that calling. To reach out to people that have had miracles performed in their lives, to bring awareness to terminally ill people, people that have lost loved ones, people that struggle with addictions, just various aspects of life that God works miracles in.
God works miracles everyday, share yours with me and lets share it with the world. I believe these people I photo shoot and write about need prayer and the best way to start a prayer chain and praise God, is with a big group of people that will share all over the world. No miracle is to great or small to praise God for.

I have a page on Facebook named Today's Miracle Photography, please follow me there to capture these incredible people's story's and photos as well.

Debby Lanham


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