When Miracle Bailey was born, she weighed 4 pounds, 4 ounces. The premature birth caused her heart to stop beating. Only seconds into this world, she was already fighting against the odds. After an extended hospital stay and a weakened heart that steadily reached its full force, her mother commemorated her new daughter’s recovery. She gave her a name that appropriately reflected the extraordinary circumstances she had survived. The miracle would now become a proper noun with a heart far from “weak.”
The Miracle Who Walks Among Us
Today the only holdover that would suggest Miracle was ever a “miracle baby” is the name itself. Other than a damaged rotator cuff that set back her sports career, her body and mind have found an equilibrium in academics and her steadfast love for her family and friends. She’s nervous about starting high school next year, but she’s already mapped out a possible career for herself. “I want to be a neurosurgeon,” Miracle says, “because I’ve always dreamed of being a doctor. I want to help people.” Her fascination with neurosurgery is due to the often stealthy way brain tumors can manifest and cause havoc on the rest of the body, and she “really wants to help [people] recover from that.” At the moment, her eye is on Southern Illinois University-Carbondale as a college of choice, but she concedes that she’ll most likely change her preference as she grows older. When she does leap into higher education, it’s important to her that she remains close to home and family.
Though Miracle has friends from all different backgrounds, she takes pride in the fact that she doesn’t treat “any of them different.” Her friends would describe her as a “very nice person,” but she has moody days like everyone else. “I try to be nice to my friends when I’m upset. I try to laugh with them,” she says, “so they don’t feel all that nothing I’m feeling.” It’s a practice run for how she plans to make a “dent in the universe.” She believes the difference in other people’s perspectives can lead to behaviors that hurt both themselves and others. “I would try my hardest to change the way people think, not how people act, but they can’t help it sometimes,” Miracle explains. “I would try to help them with how they handle their anger.”
Miracle has a personal understanding of anger linked to grief. Recently her auntie passed away, and it devastated not only her interior life but the exterior life of her schoolwork and activities. Today she takes solace in the appearance of red birds, especially cardinals, because she believes they’re a sign of her departed family watching over her. “Every time I see one, I was either thinking it was my cousin or my auntie,” she says. In memory of her aunt, she repurposed that grief into a desire to assist others with tumultuous feelings.
She’s already started helping her cousins with their anger issues, and she has a therapeutic model worked out to assist others. “I want to make a little area for when you’re angry, you can go take your own anger out on that,” Miracle says. The inspiration for her spaces in development are “rage rooms,” popular joints where people can decompress by smashing electronics, bottles, and virtually any other object one can imagine. However, she’d like to add a softer touch. “I would rather have something soft so they don’t hurt themselves, like a punching bag,” she says. We find it amazingly poetic that an individual who fought and won her own battle to exist in the world since her first breath would assist others in a performative fight to stay calm, collected, and stable. It’s not a stretch to predict that Miracle has more wonders in store for all of us in the coming years.