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4/5/01

Well, Savanna is certainly impressing everyone this past month.

She has had a huge growth spirt and doing very well developmentally. She is
now 15lbs 11oz and 27.5" long. Which puts her in the 25th percentile compared
to other preemies of her gestation and even gets her hitting the charts for
full term kids (3rd percentile). Which means she no longer has a "Failure to
Thrive" diagnosis.

Savanna is doing incredible with her therapy. In two months of therapy, she
went from being assessed as a 2 month old in gross motor skills to a 7 1/2
month old. Wow! The therapists are starting to feel like they just come over
to our house for a break. Savanna does work really hard though. She has a
strong will. Whenever she is trying real hard to do something she sticks out
her tongue - just like Michael Jordan when he's going to the net. So her
nickname is going to start to be "MJ".

She now rolls over completely on her own - all directions (like a speed
demon), loves to stand with support, and can hold a position on all fours for
a brief period and rock (getting ready to crawl! - Look out world, here she
comes!). She is also doing problem solving skills of a 12-24 month old.
Pretty awesome for a 9 month old (adjusted age). She's so smart! She mainly
just has physical hurdles to overcome.

She still has a left side weakness that we are working on, but even that has
improved greatly.

A few days ago her first tooth started coming through. My baby is so grown
up! :) She's also eating Cheerios!

A couple of weeks ago, Derek (Daddy) had pneumonia - he's better now. So
Savanna has learned a (fake) *cough*cough* whenever you say "Where's Daddy?"
It's pretty comical. It's also the only thing she imitates vocally - if you
want to call it that.

OK- now the dreaded medical stuff. But don't worry, this time its mostly
good. Top on the list: Her neutrophils (ANC) are 1700. No more neutropenia!!!
Life has been so much easier - and FUN - being able to take her places. Plus
she's such an angel going out. Unfortunately she just started a cold today.
We hope she recovers quickly because we are still planning on going to
Arizona on the 15th of April.

Other good news: Since her growth has been very good, her pancreas seems to
be working well lately, and her neutrophils have gone up, the doctor is now
thinking that maybe she doesn't have Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome. That would
be a relief! But what a rollercoaster ride it has been. Anyway, the thought
is that maybe she had a viral infection that affected her pancreas leading to
the malabsorption of nutrients affecting her growth and development. That
infection could have also reduced her neutrophils. At any rate, I hope this
means it is over.

But wait... it's never truly over. Uurrgghh. Today they noticed her liver is
enlarged and her alkaline-phosphorus numbers are high. For now we are doing
the wait and see. It could possibly just be that her body needs to catch up
to her liver growth. (That's what they said anyway).

Oh! and believe it or not... Savanna is going to be 1 year old on April 13th!
She'll have lots of fun with all the wrapping paper. She likes playing with
paper these days. :)

If we don't get a chance to write again, we want to wish you all a very Happy
Easter!
Love, Marybeth, Derek (*cough*cough*), & Savanna (MJ)

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