Brisa's Page


Easter 2011

  Six years ago today, you came into our lives
Everyone was so excited on that glorious day
But things changed when you decided to join us
And all the doctor said was, "I don't know what to say."
Joy, excitement and anxiousness
All turned to worry, wonder and fear
We never once asked, "Why?"
Even so, things quickly became so clear
I've been around almost 43 years
And don't do a lot of things well
But one thing I can assure you
This child is special, everyone can tell
How is it possible?
When most children leave you feeling spent
That this little angel
Is obviously heaven sent...
For all the early time spent obsessing
Over the future and what will be
This little girl quickly taught me so much
She opened my eyes, truly allowing me to see
I can't put into words
The feelings she's given me through the years
While I never thought it would be possible
She's given me more happy than sad tears
She touches every life she encounters
Brightens every room she enters
I can tell you without a doubt
She's helped keep me centered
If you look up the word "smile"
I can tell you what you will see
A picture of my daughter, Brisa
Right there it will be
She's been through so much
In her short time here with us
But, she's never complained or asked
"Why must I be so tough?"
You find yourself sometimes looking
For anyone that may be staring
But you soon find out with her
Nothing but beauty is glaring
She's the middle of my three little ladies
All, full of beauty and grace
But to this point so far
She's put less wrinkles on my face :)
I'm so happy and grateful
That she and my Dad were so tight
And she and my Mom fit like a glove
Two peas in a pod, just right
I always knew why God
Brought her to Melissa, my wife
I wasn't near as sure though
Why he sent her to be in my life
I think I know the reasons why
Though I'm not certain I do for sure
I've always had a good heart
But, now it's even more than pure
We know there will be more trials to face
More bumps in the road ahead
But, what a wonderful job so far
Of living the life she's led
So, here on your sixth birthday
Know that we'll never lose touch
I want you to feel in your heart
That I love you so very much!




Well, a lot has happened in the past 2 years. I am growing up so big and go to "big girl" school. This is my 2nd year and I LOVE my teachers. Of course I still LOVE my teacher from last year, Ms. Weeks. She is the greatest!!! I love school and am learning how to write my name and can spell it and know it when I see it written somewhere. My best friend is Raegan at school. Sometimes I get in trouble for talking too much. I just don't understand why they won't let me say what I want to when I'm ready to say it. Oh well, I'll have to work on that. I'm learning lots of new words and how to use them in sentences. My mommy and daddy laugh at me sometimes when I say them. I have to tell them, "That's not funny. Don't laugh at me." all the time.

My mommy and daddy told me that I will be going to the hospital to have the doctor fix my feet so they don't hurt. I have these bones on the side of my feet that look red all the time and the doctor is going to fix them so they don't hurt (like bunions). I am so excited and can't wait until it's done. Then I can run and play all the time and not have to worry about it.

I have a new baby sister. Her name is Bethany. She was born in April, just like me.....I love my little sister. She is funny and we like to play with each other. She is growing big but she isn't big like me. I am a big girl and I am very strong.

I am taking dance classes now, too. I love to dance and my mommy and I practice at home so when I get to class I know what to do. We will be dancing in a Christmas recital soon, too. I can't wait to show my mommy and daddy how good I can dance. It will be so much fun! And they will be so happy for me.....

Well, I guess there is so much to tell that I can't remember it all and don't have room to tell you but just know that I am doing great, growing up tall and learning lots of new stuff. I love life and enjoy every day to the fullest.

God Bless Everyone!!!






Halloween 2007

New:  Brisa's article in the Bonham Journal
Boy am I behind. I will never get caught up on the updates of what's been going on in my life.

Let's see...I guess the last update I gave, I had just had my first craniovault and had been having some ear infections. Since then, I had the final surgery to finish separating my fingers and toes. Boy was I glad to get those heavy things off of my hands and feet. My gosh.....I couldn't do anything with those things on. It wasn't fun and I didn't like it one bit. Although, I did manage to club a boy at daycare with one when he wouldn't leave me alone.

We've also been through several holidays since then. It was my 2nd Thanksgiving and my 2nd Christmas. This year, I got to open my presents all by myself. My MeMaw, Grandpa, Uncle Sean, Uncle Darrin, LeeAnn, Daddy and Mommy were all there, but when they opened presents, I wasn't feeling well, so I was asleep. I opened mine up all by myself with Mommy, Daddy and Grandpa. It was fun.

After Christmas, I went to see my Great Grandmother, my Paw Paw, Uncle Billy, Aunt Cassandra, Aunt Tonya, Uncle Chris and all my cousins. We had a great time. On the way home, we stopped in Texarkana so I could see my big sister. We all ate dinner together. It was great getting to see her again. Even if it was only for a few minutes.

I finally got the nerve and let go of things and took off on my own. My mommy was so excited she started crying. (Brisa was 21 months old). I have been on the go ever since. Even at daycare, Ms. Connie says I am the only one who doesn't take a break. Guess I make the most of my day every day and just play and play and play until I can't anymore. Then I crash.

I also had another birthday party. I, once again, didn't feel great, but we went to the party anyway. It was at Chuck E Cheese. Lots of people came and it was so much fun. I got lots of presents. I just wish my ears didn't hurt. I would have had more fun and now I am officially 2 years old.....

In July I had to have another "procedure" on my head. (The intercranial pressure test). The doctor put this probe thing in my head to measure something. I didn't like being hooked up to all those wires. I couldn't move around. That didn't last long. Guess all my moving around and tugging on the wires messed it up cause they took it out and we went home the same day. I was so tired that I had to rest on the way home....all the way home. Turns out I am anyone had to worry.

On a day to day basis, I LOVE watching Dora and Elmo on my movies. They teach me songs, Spanish and other things. I know when to say "backpack" and when to say "map" on the movies that I have (which means Brisa watches them too much...LOL!). I also love my baths. I love splashing all over the place and watching mommy try to cover up so she doesn't get all wet.

I don't like the potty though. I don't want to sit on that cold thing. I do like announcing to everyone when mommy and daddy have to potty though. I'll run through the house saying it until someone hears me.

I love spending time with mommy and daddy. When we are all together, I like them to sit on each side of me and then hooking arms with them. It makes me feel so good inside.

Well, I guess this is my update. I'm growing like a weed, learning new things every day and lovin' every minute of it.

Until next time, God bless everyone of you.


Well hello everyone. As usual I'm a bit behind on giving my updates. Since the last update, a lot has happened. I've had a surgery to begin separating my fingers and toes. The day after I had those heavy, hot purple things off of my arms and legs (otherwise known as casts) we moved to a new house in a new place a long way from where we were.

Then I turned 1 year old. We had a big party a couple of weeks after my actual birthday. I had a bunch of presents that everyone brought me. Boy, I must be special because they were all watching me and smiling and laughing with me as Mommy helped me open them all up. I had so much fun but it sure did wear me out. I was so tired by the time my Mommy put me to bed.....

On June 28th, I had another surgery. This time it was on my head (cranial vault). I didn't like that one. I couldn't see anything because my eyes wouldn't open up. I didn't understand at all. I just wanted my mommy and daddy to hold me all the time so I could feel more secure. They also put something in my ears (tubes). I had no idea where we were but I sure didn't like all those people in blue.

Since that surgery, my ears have hurt a couple of times. We had to go to another hospital place early, early in the morning.....turns out I had something called an ear infection. Once they even put really cold rags on me. WOW! That wasn't very nice.

I am also learning to say some new words. So far, I can say Mommy, mama, yeah, bye bye and ba ba (for da da). Mommy and Daddy get so excited when I say something that they think is a word.....then they keep saying it over and over. I just smile and laugh at them. They are so silly sometimes. They make me laugh.

Well, I think that's about all that has been going on in my life.


See my name... Brisa

What is this stuff?|


I don't like it...

I'm swinging!

Mommy, Brisa, and Daddy

Happy Valentines Day
from Brisa


Hello All….well, my surgery has been postponed until March 23rd. I caught RSV….for all of you who don’t know what that is, it is a respiratory virus. I was very lucky because a lot of babies have to go to the hospital and stay when they get it. I didn’t have to. My mommy just held me a whole lot and I got better with all that lovin’ and of course with some medicine. Now I want to be held all the time…..

I will try to do better keeping everyone updated on my progress and what’s going on in my life…..


Hello Everyone….I’m sorry I haven’t been able to give you updates on my life so far. Mommy has sent updated pictures so everyone could see how big I am getting. I’m almost 19 lbs now and will be 8 months old on Christmas Day.

A lot has happened in my life…all of it has been good so far. So far, I am on track with most of my developmental skills. I can roll over and sit up leaning on my hands. I can hold my toys and play with them….I can even shake my rattle, but boy does it hurt when I hit myself in the head with it.

Every other week, the occupational therapist comes out to our house to work with me on new things. I like it in the beginning, but as the 30 minutes comes to an end, I get grouchy because it wears me out. I just want to take a nap….and then my mommy holds me and I fall asleep. Ms. Trendi says that she isn’t worried about me at all…and that I am doing wonderfully in my sessions.

The doctor’s told my mommy and daddy that I wouldn’t be able to hold my head up until about 5 or 7 months old, but I surprised them all. I was holding it up all by myself at about 3 ˝ months old. Mommy and Daddy were so happy that they took pictures of me. Boy, if that excites them, imagine what they will do when I crawl or walk or something like that. They will go nuts!!! I can also stand with someone holding my hands. Mommy thinks it’s pretty cool. I still refuse to sit up or crawl or even try. Mommy tries to help me learn to sit up and crawl all by myself but when she sits me up, I throw my head backwards….when she tries to help me crawl, I push my knees out from underneath me. I don’t understand why they don’t just leave me alone.

I still don’t say any words either. I just grunt and laugh and make my own noises…which suits me just fine. When I’m ready, I’ll say the words I want to and I’m sure Daddy will call me Motor Mouth…

Not too long ago, Mommy put up our Christmas tree. I sure like watching the lights blinking on it. I’ve tried several times to open some presents, but Mommy and Daddy always take them away from me and move me away from them. Of course, I get myself right back over there to them…..and they move me again. I frown at them, but they just laugh at me. Isn’t that mean?

Well, my first surgery is right around the corner. I’m not real sure what that is, but from listening to Mommy and Daddy; it will help me out in a big way. It is scheduled for January 19th.

Well, that’s all for now. I’m sure I’ll send another update soon…or Mommy will.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Christmas…..



Don, Melissa, & Brisa

Hi, my name is Brisa Danielle Dougan. I was born April 25, 2005 at 5:53PM in Arlington, TX. I am my Mom's first child and my Dad's second - I have a 15 year old big sister named Hayley Elizabeth.

I was wanted for a LONG time by my Mom (Melissa). She went through all kinds of fertility issues to have me. My Dad (Don) never thought he would have another baby, but I think my Mom kinda' broke him down....he he. He eventually found himself wanting a family and to experience what he missed with my sister (he's always worked way too much, but just quit his job to make sure he spends more time with me and my sister!!!).

The big day started at 5AM - Mom, Dad, Grandma (Dad's mom, June) and Hayley all were at the hospital at 5AM sharp to be there for the doctor to induce labor.

To make a long story short, they realized late in the afternoon they were going to have to do a c-section as I was NOT going to cooperate. Mom was relieved and didn't care... she was just READY to get me out and hold me!

They quickly wheeled Mom into the surgery room and Dad came in shortly after. As soon as they lifted me up I gave a little cry and Mom and Dad looked at each other and smiled - although Mom doesn't remember this, I guess from the drugs....he he. But, when they laid me down on the cleaning table, Dad noticed my fingers were webbed together. He looked at Mom and told her. She asked if they'd be OK or if they could fix them. Dad said "I don't know" and for those of you who know my Mom, her response of "WELL, ASK THEM!" probably won't surprise you. That's when Dad really KNEW something wasn't quite "right". After he asked about my fingers, the nurses all said "Yea.... her little fingers and toes are all webbed together". Mom cried "It's not fair" several times and Dad tried to calm her down and relax her. I was just COLD and wondering where I was!

The doctor was shocked and told Mom and Dad he'd been doing this for 20 years and never seen anything like it. They let Mom hold me and take a picture and whisked me off to the nursery. I think I'm pretty lucky actually as a lot of Apert babies went straight to the NICU. My Dad went with the nurses and me and then went back to see Mom. They were wheeling her out and back to the recovery room. She was still crying and Dad calmed her down and told her I'd be fine - they'd do surgery and fix my fingers... they didn't know I had something called Apert Syndrome. She asked my Dad if he "promised" I'd be OK.... he said "Yes", but then asked Mom not to make him promise that 'cause he didn't know anything at that point.

As Mom dozed off, Dad went out to tell Grandma and Hayley something was wrong. He went back to see me and a nurse grabbed him and told him they thought they'd found the Syndrome in "the book". She asked Dad if he'd ever heard of Apert Syndrome and he said "no". When he got back to where they had me, there was an old text book laying out. Dad said the pictures were horrible and the information SCARY and very bleak and negative. He couldn't believe this was happening and I could be "all messed up". He took copies the nurse made him and managed to stay on his feet and walk down the hall to where Grandma and Hayley were. He took them from the waiting area to a bench in front of the elevators. He showed them the papers and they all cried and worried for me.

Dad told them a specialist was coming over to look at me and make a diagnosis and that they'd run tests on my brain, heart and kidney's in the morning. Grandma asked Dad if he thought he should wait until the doctor came to tell Mom and he said "No, I can't do that". He went to Mom's side and she was asleep... he said that was the longest time of his life... sitting there waiting for Mom to wake up and wondering how he'd tell her about me having Apert Syndrome.

When Mom woke up, Dad told her "there was a problem". Mom asked what.. and as Dad can do with his long-winded self... he was beating around the bush. Mom said "JUST TELL ME".... she thought I had died! Once Dad told her, she was actually the strong one and Dad kind of broke down. Mom knew I was going to be OK and strong and do normal things!

After being devastated initially, Mom and Dad have been great - I could tell they loved me so much right away!

They got to take me home the Thursday after the Monday I was born, so they felt pretty lucky there too. I just had my one month birthday a couple of days ago and I've heard them say I'm eating A LOT and doing well.... so, I guess I'm OK!

Dad is addicted to the Listserv from Teeter's page and doesn't know what he would have done without it. Mom is more of a live in the now type of person... Dad's working on that.. but lives in the past and future too much.

Dad even got a phone call from Sugar Ray Leonard telling him to hang in there and that everything would be alright! He didn't answer the phone when Mr. Leonard called, but listened to the message over and over again! My uncle had e-mailed Sugar Ray and told him that my Dad was a huge fan of his and it would mean to world to him if he'd e-mail or call Dad. He couldn't believe he actually called!

I'll keep you guys updated with my progress and surgeries and all - we're gonna' be fine!

Brisa (one month, with Apert!)


Melissa & Brisa

Don, Grandpa (Don's dad) and Brisa


Brisa at 3 1/2 months old

Me and Grandpa

Holding my head up for the first time by myself – 3 ˝ months old….


Playing in my exersaucer

Brisa holding a little plastic pumpkin

What’s going on?

Brisa playing with her gourd

This page was updated April 29, 2011

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