Madison woman answers call to care for a child fighting for his life in the NICU

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MADISON, Ala. - We know families aren't only created by shared blood lines, that connection is made in many special ways. One Madison woman knew she was entering motherhood shortly after she answered a life changing phone call.

Danielle Smiley, in her own words, always wanted to care for the least of these.

"My heart has been this for as long as I can remember," Smiley said.

In June, Smiley answered a phone call from the hospital merely days after obtaining her license to foster through Lifeline Children's Services.

"I got it on a Wednesday afternoon," Smiley said. "Then, literally a week later, almost the exact time, I got the call about a little baby boy that needed some love in the NICU."

Smiley soon met a little boy who wouldn't give up.

"When he was first-born, just fighting for his life everyday," Smiley remembered about some of their first interactions.

In addition to medical conditions like seizures and chronic lung disease, Baby Marty relies on a feeding tube to survive. But, he has his mother's hand to hold through it, as she holds onto her faith.

"I am a believer and I believe in miracles," Smiley said. "He's already done so many miracles in him so I'm believing that he will be whole, that he will be able to run and talk and play sports, if he wants to run for president one day he'll be able to do that."

Despite a room full of machines to help Baby Marty survive, he's not merely living but alive.

"You would never know," Smiley said. "He is so filled with joy and it's inspiring."

Now Smiley reminds everyone who feels the desire in their hearts to care for a child to find the strength to answer the call.

"Every child deserves and needs a home, needs a family," Smiley said. "The Lord places the lonely in families and that's what he's done with him. I want you to not ignore that and to just know that when you say yes to doing it, you will be equipped and prepared."

Smiley is working towards the official adoption of Baby Marty, but it's costly with the addition of medical bills. If you would like to help the family meet their final financial goals, you can donate directly to their Pure Charity account, www.purecharity.com/martys-journey-home.

If you would like to learn more about the agency in which Smiley obtained her license, visit Lifeline Children's Services at lifelinechild.org.

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