NewsLocal News


Whitehall couple with micro-preemie baby fighting for child's survival as community, family rally to help

Emberlyn Mae Doran was 1.5 pounds at birth
emberlyn .jpg
Posted at 6:24 AM, Mar 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-01 10:36:29-05

WHITEHALL — Emberlyn Mae is a tiny baby with a big fight in front of her. Born at 1.5 pounds, she’s just a micro preemie, but her hometown of Whitehall is going to back her up in her fight to survive.

“Without my faith, I think I’d be a basket case,” said Dana Brunet.

Brunet is the grandmother of Emberlyn. The child was born on Feb. 7 after an emergency C-section in the 27th week of pregnancy. The parents, Liam and Samara Doran, have been staying in Missoula ever since as their only child fights to survive.

“It has been a struggle when you can’t do anything for your child—to help them,” said Brunet.

It’s been difficult for the first-time parents.

“They’re a young couple, 25 and 24. She’s doing everything she can and the worry on top of whether or not her baby girl made it through the night,” Brunet said.

Residents in the town of Whitehall have been very supportive. A fundraiser is being held to raise money for the couple as they wait with their baby.

“She's just so tiny, so precious, she’s my first grandchild,” Brunet said.

The family is praying and hoping Emberlyn will pull through and come home.

“Just hug her, tell her I love her and that God’s got her, and spoil her,” said Samara’s younger sister Shayna Brunet.

Dana Brunet knows her granddaughter has a tough fight ahead and may require surgery to close the hole in her heart and other complications she suffers.

“We would say day-by-day in the beginning, but it’s not—it’s moment-by-moment, and every moment’s precious. But I will always be a grandma now and if I don’t get to hold her here on earth, I’ll get to be with her in heaven,” she said.

A fundraiser will be held on March 4 at the Whitehall Community Center with a dinner and silent auction beginning at 4 p.m. Bingo will start at 6 p.m. that evening.