A lot of you drive by the Children’s Hospital of Georgia every single day, but for some families, it’s a second home. Avery Stoll wasn’t even expected to live seven minutes. She’s now seven years-old. “This was a child that was supposed to never do anything,” Renee said as Avery slid off the couch and pushed herself up on the coffee table.
Doctors also said she’d never speak, and the girl who would never hear loves music. After twenty-four surgeries, she’s only getting better. It all started before Avery was even born. At twenty weeks, Renee and Greg Stoll learned the ventricles in her brain were enlarged, and their baby girl had a hole in her heart. “Her kidneys were enlarged and there was no, what they thought was no cerebellum,” she said. At 35 weeks, they got another diagnosis: spina bifida, a birth defect where the backbone and spinal canal do not close before birth. She was also born with a cleft pallet, club feet, problems with her hips and has a catheter. “I had to cath her every three hours, and we were in and out of the hospital so much.” It’s obvious that was a big challenge. In fact, everything is a challenge. Avery’s sister admits it hasn’t been easy for anyone. However, she says Avery has made her a better person and a better sister. She’s one of those kids who leaves a mark on you in more ways than one.
She loves make-up and giving makeovers. This child, who defies the odds just by being alive, isn’t just living. She’s creating and inspiring others to create and to maybe color outside the lines from time to time. There’s no telling how many more surgeries Avery will need as she gets older, so they’re doing what they’ve always done: taking things one day at a time.