“I am the proud [grandma] to a spunky, energetic, sassy, loving, very special 2-year-old named Kyleigh.

“She needs surgery, which is deemed unessential by our governor, and cannot receive the care she desperately needs until these restrictions are lifted.

“When this pandemic first started, Kyleigh was scheduled to see an ENT. Her tonsils are growing too fast for her body, causing her to have trouble breathing, swallowing, sleeping, and doing other things an average 2-year-old would take for granted. Due to the first executive orders Governor Whitmer put in place, her referral was put on hold.

“Her doctor then tried putting her on three different steroids to help shrink her tonsils to get her through until the middle of March, but she could not stay on them longer due to potential side effects. It worked – the steroids shrunk her tonsils and she was OK – temporarily. We hoped that once the first order expired, she would be on the road to her referral and then surgery. Instead, the order got extended, more restrictive, and more discouraging. Kyleigh’s tonsils started growing within two weeks of being off of the steroids and she was once again struggling. At times, we can hear her gasp for air between words. She cannot play outside for long in case her tonsils swell.

“Medical professionals told us they would not do the surgery until it was deemed an emergency, so we have to wait until there is no room at all between her tonsils.

“Can you imagine having to wait until your 2-year-old cannot breathe on her own to get the medical care she needs?

“She literally may not wake up one morning if her tonsils close on her in the middle of the night. If we were lucky enough to notice it before she died, who’s to say that we could get her to the hospital in time to have the ER staff evaluate her and get her into surgery before she passed away? All because a medical procedure was deemed unessential by someone who isn’t even a physician.

“Right now, through prayer, hope, faith, and diligently watching for any signs of distress, Kyleigh is OK.

“However, the longer these executive orders remain in place, the longer my granddaughter goes without the ‘preventive,’ lifesaving medical care she needs.

“Each time I see or hear of Governor Whitmer extending her orders, I get more frustrated. I stay awake every night terrified that something will happen to her and she may not wake up. When I do fall asleep, the greatest joy I can hear, right now, is her little knock on my door, her opening my door and calling for me as she scampers across my room to come crawl in bed with me for snuggles and kisses.

“This is my reality. This is my reason the economy needs to open, safely but surely.

“She is my No. 1 reason to fight with everything I am, to be heard and try to make a difference.”

Laura Alderton
Plainwell, Michigan