Rosie smiling

Rosie's Future

In July 2022, Amanda and Adam were just settling into life as a family of five when their newborn daughter, Rosie, started twitching. Fearful that something was wrong, Amanda and Adam took their 13-day-old infant to the Emergency Department (ED) at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Physicians in the ED informed Amanda and Adam that Rosie was seizing. The team did their best to stabilize baby Rosie before transferring her to the hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

An Unexpected Diagnosis

Baby Rosie in Hospital Bed with a bow onPICU physicians diagnosed Rosie with acute meningoencephalitis. While meningitis is a condition that involves inflammation or infection of the protective layer of membranes that surround the brain (the meninges), encephalitis involves inflammation or infection of the brain tissue. Meningoencephalitis occurs when both the meninges and the brain are inflamed — a very serious occurrence in babies as young as Rosie. The 2-week-old had likely contracted a common virus or bacteria that traveled to her brain, causing severe inflammation. Without treatment, meningoencephalitis can lead to life-altering complications, including brain damage or even death. 

Despite the gravity of her illness, Rosie seemed to be getting better after several days of treatment in the PICU. She was cooing at her mom and seemed happy. Then, the seizures started again. Rosie was intubated and connected to a respirator. 

While Amanda and Adam were devastated to see their baby girl hooked up to a breathing apparatus, they knew she was in good hands. “I can’t say enough about the PICU team,” Amanda shares. “They took the time to listen to us, to explain things. All of these people were working together to help Rosie get better.”

After a week on a ventilator, Rosie was finally able to breathe on her own again. She was taken off the respirator and transferred to a stepdown unit for ongoing care. 


The Little Things

With two other young children at home, Amanda and Adam did their best to juggle Rosie’s care and the care of their boys, Ezra, age 3, and Winston, 18 months. Amanda stayed at the hospital with Rosie, while Adam rotated between the hospital and home to see the boys. Thankfully, the couple’s parents helped out with childcare. 

“I ran out of the house that afternoon when Rosie started seizing and didn’t go back home for 20 days,” Amanda explains. Sleeping on the pullout bed in Rosie’s hospital room, Amanda relied on the amenities provided by the hospital. 

“The hospital staff gave me laundry packs, parking vouchers, and toiletries,” Amanda shares. “That may sound small, but those little things are huge when your child is sick and you’re just trying to make it through the day.” 

Amanda credits the PICU team, the Child Life Department, and Clinical Social Work with making a devastating experience far more bearable for the whole family. 

Happy and Healthy

After nearly three weeks in the hospital, several procedures, and many sleepless nights for Amanda and Adam, Rosie was discharged home. 

Today, 12-week-old Rosie continues to do well. She takes anti-seizure medication that neurologists are hopeful they can taper off in the future. 

Rosie also receives early intervention services to monitor her development, and she is part of the hospital’s Neonatal Developmental Follow-Up Clinic. Through the clinic, UPMC Children’s behavioral health clinicians regularly assess Rosie to identify and address any long-term issues caused by her condition. To date, Rosie’s development has been right on track. 

When asked her hopes for her baby girl’s future, Amanda replies quickly. “Oh gosh, I’m gonna try not to cry,” she says with a laugh. “I just want Rosie to be happy and healthy...We absolutely love UPMC Children’s, but we don’t want to ever go back!”

Give Now

More Stories

Stories of Hope and Healing

  • D'Kaiden


    Doctors told Samantha to prepare for the worst — that her son D’Kaiden likely wouldn’t survive after birth.

    Full Story
  • Mackenzie


    Many children with developmental and behavioral health needs experience a difficult journey toward wellness due to services that are fragmented or inaccessible.

    Full Story
  • Rilyn


    “We are truly thankful for all of the nurses, physicians, surgeons, therapists, and specialists that have been involved in Rilyn’s care,” says Rilyn’s mom, Jamie. “

    Full Story
  • Erin and Nelvia

    Erin’s Complex Care

    Just like an average little girl, Erin enjoys being outside and interacting with other children. But unlike most other children, Erin has spastic quad cerebral palsy

    Full Story
  • Jackson smiling

    Jackson’s Journey

    While Danielle was still pregnant, she learned that her unborn baby boy was already fighting an uphill battle.

    Full Story
  • Rosie's Future

    Rosie's Future

    In July 2022, Amanda and Adam were just settling into life as a family of five when their newborn daughter, Rosie, started twitching.

    Full Story
  • Colin’s Second Chance

    Colin’s Second Chance

    Our then 15-year-old son, Colin, had a yearly wellness check with his pediatrician. During that visit, his pediatrician noted that Colin had lost over 10 pounds in four months.

    Full Story
  • Maelynn’s Big Smile

    Maelynn’s Big Smile

    Maelynn is a spunky 7-year-old with dark blonde hair and a big smile. She is a straight-A student, loves music and gym class, and hopes to be a teacher one day.

    Full Story
  • Taylor's Road Home

    Taylor's Road Home

    Kim says living with her 13-year-old daughter, Taylor, is like living in a musical. “That child will break into song while doing the dishes,” Kim shares with a laugh.

    Full Story
  • Sophia


    Last New Year’s Eve, while many of us were cheerfully ringing in 2021 with friends and family, 5-year-old Sophia and her parents were grappling with devastating news.

    Full Story
  • Tristan


    If you’re a member of our monthly giving program, you’ve probably seen his smiling face before. Now, you can learn more about the brave kid behind the mask.

    Full Story
  • photo of a girl with no hair


    In August 2020, I was moving into my freshmen dorm at the University of Pittsburgh, ready to take on college. Little did I know I’d be moving out just a semester later.

    Full Story