How Michelle and Barack Obama handled their daughter’s extremely challenging medical prognosis

Barack Obama, a former president of the United States of America, has experienced his share of emotionally trying moments. However, nothing could have prepared him for the feelings he would experience when his daughter Sasha received a devastating health prognosis as a baby.

The politician’s children, Malia, 24, and Sasha, 21, who are now adults, are happy and healthy, and he and his wife, Michelle, are proud parents.

Sasha’s diagnosis of meningitis, however, rocked Barack and Michelle’s world when she was just three months old.

Barack spoke candidly about it while running for office in 2012, saying: “People ask me what was the worst moment in my life — they ask, well, what about during the debt limit issue and this, that, and the other thing.

“When Sasha was three months old, she developed meningitis. I still recall our visit to the hospital, where they had to perform a spinal tap on her.

“The physicians did a tremendous job,” the father of two children continued, “but, truly, it was the nurses who were there with us when she had to receive a spinal tap, and all sorts of things that were just bringing me to tears.”

As Michelle stated in an interview with Rev. Al Sharpton, the excruciating time will remain etched in her mind forever.

“I won’t soon forget. On that particular day, she spent one hour acting fine, normal, and joyful while doing everything I was accustomed to seeing her do, then the following hour she sobbed uncontrollably, which was uncharacteristic of her. I completed everything.

“I attempted to do,” she said, “tried to feed her, try to rock her, try to burp her. I simply decided that I needed to phone my pediatrician at that point.

The medical personnel demanded they head straight to the emergency department when she recounted Sasha’s symptoms.

She ultimately tested positive for meningitis. And they had to perform a spinal tap,” Michelle recalled, admitting that things might have turned out quite differently if she hadn’t had access to medical treatment.

“She turned out — obviously, as this story ends, she is fine, she’s healthy, and she’s a beautiful young lady, but if we hadn’t had insurance, access to a pediatrician, and access to a hospital where we didn’t have to worry about the cost of care — if we had waited overnight, if we had delayed acting, there’s no telling what the outcome would’ve been,” the mother said.

Fortunately, Sasha did fully recover, for which the well-known family is eternally grateful.

She transferred from the University of Michigan to USC and now resides in Los Angeles with her older sister Malia.


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