Baton Rouge father shares survival story of daddy's little girl - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Baton Rouge father shares survival story of daddy's little girl against all odds

Dustin Johnson and his daughter, Ivy Caroline (Source: WAFB) Dustin Johnson and his daughter, Ivy Caroline (Source: WAFB)
Dustin Johnson's finger behind held by his daughter, Ivy Caroline (Source: Dustin Johnson) Dustin Johnson's finger behind held by his daughter, Ivy Caroline (Source: Dustin Johnson)
Dustin Johnson's finger behind held by his daughter, Ivy Caroline (Source: WAFB) Dustin Johnson's finger behind held by his daughter, Ivy Caroline (Source: WAFB)
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

For nearly 10 years, Dustin Johnson, has proudly put on a Baton Rouge Police uniform. 

"It's, in my opinion, the best job in the world. You can't duplicate the feeling you get being an officer for Baton Rouge," said Johnson. 

Before enrolling with BRPD and even earning two life-saving awards and a medal of merit, he began fighting at the age of 18 as a Muay Thai fighter, going professional and competing around the world. 

In 2015, Johnson met Darcy, a clinical scientist, and it was love at first sight. Within six months of dating, the two were hitched and the news only got better. 

"We found out we were pregnant in the spring of last year," said Johnson. 

Filled with anticipation, the couple looked forward to being parents, but there was a problem. 

"My wife was several months pregnant and wasn't showing anything at all," said Johnson. 

After several doctors' visits, the Johnsons were told their baby had a very rare condition, growth restriction, which meant their baby was growing at less than 90 percent of the average and his wife was suffering from severe preeclampsia, or very high blood pressure. 

"It was getting to the point to where if we didn't have an emergency C-section, I was going to lose both of them," said Johnson. 

At just 26 weeks, Darcy was told she had to deliver her baby within that week. Johnson said it's a day he will never forget. 

"It was one of the scariest things I've ever experienced because the whole time I'm sitting there and I'm being told I'm running a serious risk of both losing my wife and losing my child. I'm a nervous wreck," said Johnson. 

Finally, the couple got some relief. Their little girl, Ivy Caroline Johnson, came into the world three months premature weighing only 1.2 pounds. 

However, the new mom and dad did not get to take Ivy home. Instead, she had to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU. The days turned into weeks, weeks to months. 

"We spent four months going to visit her while she was in the NICU," said Johnson. 

In February, Ivy finally got to come home. She was so little she fit in just the palms of her parents' hands. She required attention 24/7 and a very important decision had to be made. 

"The life I used to have and the life I have now are drastically different," said Johnson. 

That's because for the time being, Johnson has put his police and fighting careers on hold and taken on something else full time. 

"It just made more sense for us financially if I stayed home with her and my wife went back to work," said Johnson. 

The officer and fighter is now Mr. Mom, but it was not something as simple as food and diapers for a new born. Ivy had serious feeding issues and could not keep her food down or put on any weight. The two went to numerous doctors including a pulmonologist, gastroenterologist, eye doctors and even physical therapy, not to mention, she had to wear a breathing tube. 

Johnson counts his blessings and says least did he know, his past was only preparing him for the future with his little girl. 

"If it wasn't for the training and experience that I had being a Baton Rouge Police Officer, that morning that she choked and she wasn't responding and needed CPR, if I didn't have that experience, I don't think I would have been able to save her," said Johnson. 

Mr. Mom even made a Facebook post, which was meant to be a joke, about how difficult it is being a stay at home parent. 

The post went worldwide getting shared more than 100,000 times. 

"My daughter by all accounts should not have lived and the fact that she was still alive and making it inside of there, I had this feeling about her, she was going to make it no matter what, she was going to be healthy. She was going to find a way to thrive," said Johnson. 

Now, Ivy is a growing baby and breathing on her own, which is why Johnson now says, "I'm ready to get back to work, get back to the streets and get back in the ring as soon as possible. If any fight promoter sees this, I will fight for diapers and formula." 

Because after all, this miracle baby has her daddy wrapped around her little fingers. 

Click here to visit the GoFundMe page set up to collect donations to cover medical expenses

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