Pair talk about odd start, end of girl’s childhood

Tammy (left) and Maddy Daniels talk about Maddy’s birth and now her Sr. year


While many school-aged children are feeling a sense of confusion and loss right now with school building closing, sports being canceled and rites of passages like proms and graduations uncertain, high school seniors probably face the most loss. And one Marion County senior and her mom have a particularly interesting case.

Maddy Daniels, 18, has been looking forward to all of the last moments she is supposed to be having this spring as a senior about to graduate. In fact, she talks about that in her column this week on page 6. Daniels is the Free Press Intern and a monthly columnist.

“It is really disappointing. I should be having all my lasts with my best friends in high school, but I’m not really having any of those. We are still hopeful that we will get prom and graduation if everyone does what they are supposed to do and stays inside,” said Daniels. “But just the not knowing if I am going to get all of those things that everybody else gets. That’s really hard.”

Both Maddy and her mom Tammy have had a little experience with life events not going as planned although Maddy does not remember the first time life got crazy for the pair.

Maddy was born on September 11, 2001, which is the same day that the twin towers and other acts of terrorism happened in this country.

“I was really sick. I was pre-eclamptic. They had tried to induce her two times before that and it just didn’t happen. So we went in the night before on the 10th. I went into labor on the 11th and it was going along pretty good except for my blood pressure because I had been so sick,” said Tammy.

She explained that the hospital staff let her watch things on tv as they were happening.

“Definitely as the first tower was hit, I was in pretty good labor at that point. It seemed like everybody was leaving us then. The doctors and nurses were in and out kind of panicking I think because no one knew what to do. And then my blood pressure shot up and they were really worried for the baby and for me so they decided to do a c-section,” said Tammy.

About that time, the government had decided it was a no-fly zone.

“We were at a little small hospital in Council Grove. Now typically, if there was something wrong once we had the baby, they would fly you to Topeka. So we already knew that was a no go which was really scary,” said Tammy.

Tammy herself was also still very sick.

“It was really cute though. All of the nurses gathered in the hallways and held hands and they prayed for us as we went to the emergency room to have the baby. We knew there was a chance that for one of us it wasn’t going to go well,” said Tammy.

But everything went well and Tammy and her husband got their beautiful little baby. Maddy was small for her age due to the pre-eclampsia but healthy.

“I remember thinking after we got back to the room that I felt so guilty for bringing this baby into this world. I mean for all I knew we were going into war. I didn’t know,” said Tammy.

Fast forward to today and Tammy feels some of those same feelings of fear as she did back then.

“And I just really feel sad for Maddy. Growing up you are just envisioning this time and your senior year. Anytime she felt like she couldn’t keep going I would say just think of all the wonderful things to come and now those things may not happen,” said Tammy. “I feel sad for her.I’m thinking about preparing her and it’s an unsure time.”

Maddy said that she doesn’t really think much about her birthday being the same day as the terrorist attack. It comes up but she is able to separate the two.

“When I was younger kids did make comments in school and said I was unlucky,” said Maddy.

She then joked with her mom, “Maybe I am unlucky. Maybe this whole virus is my fault. I am ‘Rona!”

Maddy has been jokingly calling the coronavirus ‘Rona to make is seem less scary.

Tammy and Maddy both laughed but then talked about how Maddy does have much to look forward to.

“I’m going to K-State and I’m going to major in journalism and mass communications. I want to be a writer,” said Maddie. “I also have like five side hustles I am planning on.”

“I think you have a good head on your shoulders and you have a good attitude about what’s going on,” said Tammy to her daughter.

“Yeah, you can’t just sit and sulk about it,” said Maddy. “Good things are already happening.”

One of those good things is that she has gotten to spend time with her boyfriend, Jorge Hanschu, who has been back in Marion County since his college moved to online.

“He is headed off to a week in Colorado for his internship and then he will have to be in quarantine for two weeks. But then after three weeks, I will get to see him all the time again. I wouldn’t be able to if we weren’t all staying home,” said Maddy.

Maddy and her mom both seem to be optimistic and hopeful regarding the future in spite of Maddy’s scary start to life and the trials of the past few weeks.

Just like the other seniors of Marion County, Maddy’s future is bright and wide open ahead of her.

Maddy picks up her locker and other personal items on March 26.
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