MCDUFFIE COUNTY (WFXG) - We brought you this story early 2020 about a McDuffie County widow who was able to find joy again by way of IVF treatments. 

Prior to her husband's sudden death, Alexis Bailey dealt with fertility issues that led the couple to try in vitro fertilization to have their first child together. When their first session failed, Alexis almost lost hope.

Three weeks after her husband's death, Bailey found the courage to try IVF again along with creating four community initiatives that would help keep her husband's legacy alive. 

Despite schools being closed and many graduations delayed due to COVID-19, on June 7, Bailey was able to keep her husband's legacy going by presenting a Warren County High School senior, Ianel Johnson with the Antonio Bailey Scholarship, the recipient received a $500 check and is the first recipient. 

Bailey also created “The Bailey Way Inc.”, an organization for adolescents that have at least one deceased parent. The organization serves children ages 6-17 & supports the children in many ways, including activities and forums that assist with coping with their loss/absence. The Bailey Way, Inc. will meet once a month to engage & interact with members, participating in various activities.

Bailey plans to write a children's book and host a community event in honor of her husband.                                                                            

Applicants of the scholarship were required to maintain at least 3.0 GPA and had to submit two teacher recommendations along with one community service letter.

 

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(Feb 5) - Antonio Bailey Jr., wrapped in his mother's arms, is a gift to this family. He wore a onesie that reads, "Mommy, I met daddy in heaven long before my grand entrance into this world. He told me to tell you to stay strong and that you're doing an amazing job."

Alexis Bailey believes her newborn is perfect.

Antonio Bailey, Jr.

"He's determined. He's sweet and loving," Bailey explained.

These are things Alexis knows for sure about her newborn, who will never get the chance to know his father. The infant's grandmother, Betty Bailey, said her grandson's birth is her family's rainbow after a storm. That's because her son, Antonio Bailey died April 24th 2019.

"My son was the sweetest person in the world, and losing him was the worst pain in the world. I'm still dealing with. It's hard just losing a child," Betty said.

Prior to Antonio's death, fertility issues led the couple to try in vitro fertilization to have their first child together. When their first session failed, Alexis almost lost hope.

"We felt like it was thousands of dollars gone down the drain. So he sent me a text saying 'we're going to try and try until we succeed,'" Alexis explained.

Alexis and Antonio Bailey

That hope helped her move forward with the process - three weeks after her husband's death - in a session that had already been scheduled for the beginning of May.

"The doctor gave us a call and told us we could still go through with it. I went in with my support system," recalled Alexis.

She said it's one of the hardest things she's ever had to navigate. Many other women share her struggle.

Servy Fertility Institute IVF Coordinator Liz Muns said her office, which provides multiple assistive reproductive technology at low costs, treats 300 people a year. She said there is a 60 percent success rate with frozen transfers.

"She had to try multiple times, her and Antonio had to save up their money for their last try and then whenever she had that tragic event it was just so wonderful she was finally able to get pregnant and she was able to hear her first heartbeat June of 2019," said Muns.

Antonio Bailey Jr. was born January 21, 2020. 

Antonio Bailey, Jr.

"I just give God the praise for allowing this to take place," said David Reese, Alexis' father.

It's the last gift 33-year-old Antonio Bailey would ever give.

"It means everything to me," explained Alexis.

A sure sign for Alexis and her family that her husband's legacy must continue. She's looking forward to furthering it in several ways. 

Antonio Bailey Scholarship Awards 
 
Two $500 scholarships that will be distributed to two seniors that will be graduating in 2020. The Antonio Bailey Scholarship is available to graduating seniors, one from Thomson High School and the other from Warren County High School. Selection is based on academic achievement, extracurricular involvement and good character. Student must obtain at least 3.0 GPA and submit two teacher recommendations along with one community service letter. A 500 word essay will also be submitted on the topic: Describe a difficult situation you faced, and explain how you overcame it.
 
Future children's book
 
Alexis Bailey has a children’s book in the process of being published called “Oh how our hearts Needed you; The Bailey IVF Journey”. This book will be dedicated to their son, Antonio Bailey Jr. 
 
Local nonprofit organization 
 
Organization being created, “The Bailey Way Inc.” This organization is for adolescents that have at least one deceased parent. The organization will serve children ages 6-17 & will support the children in many ways, including activities and forums that assist with coping with their loss/absence. The Bailey Way, Inc. will meet once a month to engage & interact with members, participating in various activities! This organization is open to the CSRA & welcomes any sponsors!
 
Community Event
 
In honor of Antonio Bailey, his wife and family will also host a day, in celebration of him called “M.A.M.B.A. Day”. (Making a Mark: Bailey’s Association) Mamba Day will be held on October 10, 2020. This day will focus, mainly, on health awareness. Individuals will be able to get a plethora of health checks including blood pressure, glucose levels and cholesterol level checks. There will be food and drinks offered as well, along with games and fun for children. Bring yourself and the children out to this fun, FREE event! More Details on M.A.M.B.A. Day are to come in the near future. 
 
If you would be interested in becoming a sponsor for The Bailey Way, Inc or M.A.M.B.A. Day, please email Alexis Bailey at [email protected] or Eugene Andrews at [email protected]
 

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