Someone You Should Know: Baby Bella Follow-Up

CROOKS, S.D. – One year ago, we brought you the story of Isabella Mares. The baby girl was born weighing two pounds. She spent last Christmas fighting for her life in the NICU at Sanford, her future uncertain. KDLT’s Allison Royal caught up with baby Bella this holiday season to see how’s she doing.

Last year, Santa visited baby Bella in the hospital for her first Christmas. She wasn’t supposed to be there in time for Christmas. In fact, she was born in October – four months early. Her family wasn’t certain if or when she’d experience life outside of a hospital.

“It’s very nerve-wracking,” said Bridget Mares, Bella’s mom. “A lot of anxiety. A lot of tears were cried.”

Sometimes Christmas comes with miracles. This is baby Bella today.

One year later, she’s up to 17 pounds.

“From them telling us that they didn’t think she was going to make it 24 hours to looking at her today, she’s just like wow, she did it,” said Bridget. “She’s a fighter.”

Instead of spending Christmas in the hospital this year, Bella will spend it with her whole family together around the Christmas tree.

“So this year’s like way better because I’m excited to watch her open her gifts,” said Bridget.

Bella still sees a physical therapist and occupational therapist each week, but otherwise, she’s hitting all of her milestones.

“Everything’s fast-paced with her,” said Bridget. “Nothing’s slow. It’s just amazing. I was looking at her Christmas pictures from last year. I’m like wow I can’t believe she’s really come this far.”

Bella will spend the holidays surrounded by cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Her parents have big dreams for her. Her mom hopes she’ll be a hockey or softball player once she puts a little more weight on.

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