In December 2015, doctors told Johanna Morton she was going to miscarry. Just a few weeks ago, she watched her daughter see snow for the first time.
Morton told The Huffington Post that when she was 12 weeks pregnant, doctors discovered something was wrong with her baby’s heart based on the way it sounded.
“They told me I was going to miscarry,” Morton said. “A week or two after when I didn’t miscarry, it seemed like every appointment we would be told something else was wrong with her heart, another diagnosis.”
Doctors later told Morton that her baby would be stillborn. Her daughter, Clara Ray, defied the odds, though, and was born via C-section on June 14th at 37 weeks.
“It was a miracle she hung on,” Morton said. “Even in the operating room, they couldn’t tell me if she would be born alive.”
Now 5 months old, Clara Ray has been diagnosed with various medical conditions including borderline HLHS (hypoplastic left heart syndrome), pulmonary hypertension and intestinal malrotation. When she was just six days old, she had open heart surgery, and about a month later, her parents got to take her home to Cornwallville, New York.
Morton has been documenting Clara Ray’s journey on a Facebook page called Prayers for Clara Ray. On Nov. 20, she shared her daughter’s reaction to seeing snow for the first time.
Morton said her daughter was “mesmerized” by the scenery outside the window.
“The photos say it all. It was as if time stood still for both my husband and I,” Morton told HuffPost. “For a moment she wasn’t sick and everything was just perfect. We knew whatever her future holds for her, that moment will forever be a memory.”
As of Monday, the photo of Clara Ray seeing snow has been shared more than 7,000 times on Facebook. Morton said she plans to continue spreading awareness for her daughter’s medical conditions and is especially appreciative of the people who join her along the way.
“It’s one the hardest journeys we have been on,” she said. “It’s a terrifying roller coaster and you just never know what the next day will bring, let alone the next minute. We are so thankful we aren’t on this journey alone.”
For updates on Clara Ray, head to Prayers for Clara Ray on Facebook.