Mark and Melanie Payne’s story started like a storybook romance. They were college sweethearts. Mark was the captain of the UC Davis men's basketball team. Melanie was the captain of the UC Davis women's volleyball team. They were engaged after college graduation, married in 2012 and then moved to Europe to pursue Mark’s career as a professional basketball player.
Their fairytale ending seemed set for 2017, when they moved back to the U.S., bought a house in El Dorado Hills and Melanie became pregnant with their first child. Her due date was Oct. 27.
But on July 17, Melanie began having contractions. Braxton Hicks, they thought. It had to be. It was way too early.
But Brooklyn Payne had other plans. Their daughter was born July 18 at only 25 weeks, weighing 1 pound, 4 ounces.
“We didn’t think she was going to make it,” said Mark Payne. “It was brutal.”
Mark and Melanie Payne with daughter Brooklyn.
A whirlwind of tests followed. Brooklyn was diagnosed with a Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), a heart condition that affects 10 percent of all congenital heart anomalies in which the ductus arteriosus, a fetal blood vessel, fails to close after birth. If left untreated, PDA can lead to obstructive pulmonary diseases and heart failure.
UC Davis pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon Amy Rahm was called by Mercy San Juan Medical Center to perform a Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) ligation, surgical closure of the vessel, at two-month-old Brooklyn's bedside.
“I have to commend Mercy San Juan Medical Center for reaching out. This was a wonderful collaboration for the sake of patient care,” said Rahm. After a series of tests and with the assistance of the Mercy team, the surgery proceeded without any complications.
The UC Davis Critical Care Transport Team ultimately transported Brooklyn following her surgery and she was admitted into the UC Davis Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) since she needed the higher level of care that only a Level IV NICU could provide.
Two eye surgeries at UC Davis Children’s Hospital followed. Brooklyn had ROP (retinopathy of prematurity) in both eyes. Abnormal blood vessels had started to develop which, if not treated, could have caused retinal detachment and blindness. She had laser eye surgery on two separate occasions.
The Paynes spent two and a half months in the NICU at UC Davis Children’s Hospital.
“She was so vulnerable,” says Mark Payne. “At first it was overwhelming.”
Soon, though, Mark and Melanie Payne discovered the rhythm of the NICU and found comfort in the members of the NICU health care team. Once a place they hoped they’d never be, the NICU become a place they said they met lifelong friends.
“The nurses were unbelievable,” said Mark Payne. “The way they handle crisis situations is amazing. Plus, they really care.”
In December, Brooklyn was discharged from UC Davis Children’s Hospital and Brooklyn was finally able to go home for the first time. It was the happy ending they had been hoping for.
Today, Brooklyn is 10 months old and is grabbing and giggling; scooting and smiling. She is developmentally on track.
“It’s a miracle she’s here with us and doing so well. It’s unbelievable, really,” said Mark Payne. “UC Davis Children’s Hospital will always be part of our story … one we are proud to tell.”
More on Brooklyn's remarkable story: https://health.ucdavis.edu/health-news/newsroom/micro-preemie-pediatric-cardiology-and-eye-surgery-patient-is-familys-miracle/2018/05
SCHEDULE FOR MIRACLES!
EL MACERO COUNTRY CLUB, DAVIS CA - HOME OF THE AGGIE ATHLETICS TEAM!
Monday, September 21, 2020
8:30 A.M. REGISTRATION OPENS. Please arrive no more than 45 minutes prior to your scheduled TEE TIME. Remember to mask up and allow for social distancing!
Your welcome gift is sponsored by Children’s Miracle Network and Golf Balls by Taco Bell!
#PlayYellow Champion Package!
Only $125 and includes Dozen Callaway #PlayYellow golf balls from the PRO SHOP, DOOR PRIZE TIX and GAMES on the course, including the GOLF CANNON – over $250 value!!!
Bloody Mary Bar and mobile box breakfast or snack awaits you along with the great tunes and hits from 101.5 KHITS.
Drive the range, practice putting for the Kitchell putting and chipping contests that take places during play!
Big Boy and Girl Toys TIX – don’t forget to pick up some of these! Displayed at Registration for viewing. YETI coolers, Tool Chest, BBQ, Kayak, Adrian Blanco Jewelry and MORE to come!
Tickets will be pulled at 1 p.m., as well to allow for everyone to participate!
Purchase a nice bottle of wine for $20 from our wine wall, guaranteed value of at least $20 and many more special bottles – signed by our UC Davis Children’s Hospital doctors, nurses and Business Council!
We will have your bottle pulled and ready to take home with your tasty Takeout Treat at the 19th Hole Breezeway Celebration Exit to your cars!
REACH HELICOPTER BALL DROP: An amazing prize for the ball that drops in the cup! $5 a ball or 5 for $20!
Auction / Door Prizes: Displayed at Registration area for viewing – be sure to drop your tickets before teeing off to win!
9:30 A.M. – 11:30 A.M. TO THE CARTS
Ready for FUN! Please allow for social distancing, arrive only 30-45 minutes in advance of your tee time. 4-person scramble format – take this time to sanitize your hands
Make sure you have purchased your CMN #PlayYellow Champion Package – play to win prizes!
Putting, Long Drive, Closest to the Pin, Accuracy Drive, Cannon & more great contests on the holes!
NY Life Cup for all players, Credit Union Cup for our Credit Union Affiliates
REACH HELICOPTER BALL DROP – win an amazing prize for the ball that drops in the cup!
All DOOR Prizes and Big Boy and Big Girl will be drawn at 1 p.m. and will be awaiting your departure at the 19th Hole Breezeway!
REFRESHMENTS AND SNACKS: Food will be provided by Dairy Queen, Xochimilco, Hot Dog on a Stick, Miller Hot Dogs on the course – libations from SearchPro Staffing, Dr. Pepper/ Snapple!
Remember that the big boy and girl toys will be displayed at Registration – plenty of opportunities to win!
19th HOLE BREEEZWAY DEPARTURE & Take Out Meal to go!
Winners of the NY LIFE and Credit Union Cup, as well as the contest winners to be announced later. REACH Helicopter Ball Drop Winner will be live! Pick up your Wine Wall selection, then off to your cars! The door prize and big boy/girl toys will be ready for the winners, along with a yummy CMN Take Out Meal for your departure!
Look for the big boy and girl toys at registration, plenty of opportunities to win! Thank you for helping us hit a hole in one for the kids! Please remember your masks. We will have some on hand for you, as well!
Jacquelyn Miller, Executive Director Esther M. Klein, Co-Chair
PH: 916.734.9192 PH: 916.261.5856