Catching up with Huntleigh

Marlys Good

In 2019, we introduced the community to Huntleigh Haley, who was delivered by C-section at Denver’s Children’s Hospital, just before 36 weeks due to a rare condition called omphalocele, a birth defect of the abdominal (belly) wall. The infant’s intestines, liver, or other organs stick outside of the belly through the belly button.
Huntleigh spent three months in the NICU and another month in the hospital and her mother and father were there with her every day. They brought her home, still on oxygen, in December.
Hard days, but good days, because their daughter was home. With the support of family and friends, Peyton and Quinton led as normal a life as possible, interrupted every three months with trips to Denver where specialists checked to see that young Huntleigh was growing and thriving.
When she was 1, she had her final “closure surgery,” and a year later, had hernia surgery. They take her to Denver for a yearly check-up.
“We do have to do weight checks with her pediatrician every three months as it is hard for her to gain weight so they like to keep a close watch on it.”
When will Peyton finally feel like she has a “normal” kid?
“I don’t think I will ever have a normal kid,” she shares with a smile. “She is firey and spunky and a wild girl with lots of sass.”
However, Peyton said she didn’t think the worry would every go away. “I always worry when she gets sick or says her belly hurts,” she said.
But the spirit of young Huntleigh, who is now in pre-school, is amazing. She’s so happy all the time, it makes the worry go away.
Huntleigh is also “in love” with her 8-month-old brother Creed and you couldn’t find a better “big sister.”