We have some GREAT news!! At this moment Doug and Jessica are making final preparations for discharge TOMORROW!! Joby is doing so well, they are sending her home! Thank you one and all for being with us every step of the way. If you donated money, if you said a prayer, if you sent out good thoughts and kind messages...they were all heard, felt and appreciated so much more than we can say. Next post will be after Joby is back home. In the meantime, here's a picture of her taken today--she is so precious! God is SO great! With Love from Joby's Aunt Joye
We have created a new facebook page called "For the Love of Joby" where Jessica will be posting updates on Joby. Please go like the page so you can continue to get updates. As of today, post-op day 4 Joby is doing FANTASTIC!! Hoping to get the chest tube out soon and then on to the cardiac step down unit. Prayers are still needed and appreciated! With Love from Joby's Aunt Joye
Update from Joby's Mom, Jessica:
Post-op day 2 Update:
Joby is doing great! Today we are still weaning down the cpap. They say another couple days with that. Her art line is out and we got rid of another peripheral foot IV. She's off her morphine drip and just gets pain meds as needed. We started NJ feeding this afternoon (Yay!) As soon as the chest tube comes out we can hold her and love on her.
Thank you's going out again, for everyone's prayers, kind words and concern. We are Forever Grateful. Joby is a real trooper and doing so well.
Joby came through her surgery today and did really good. Doug and Jessica have been able to see her and they are very relieved and happy that this part is over. Now we are on to recovery, getting Joby stronger so she can come home and continue growing up surrounded by love. Thank you one and all for the donations, your prayers, your notes and phone calls. It all is appreciated so much, the whole family is beyond words. Please take a moment to hug the children in your life and give a prayer of thanksgiving for the success of Joby's surgery. Please continue to pray as she recovers. God Bless Us, Everyone. With Love from Joby's Aunt Joye
Early tomorrow morning, Doug, Jessica and our little Joby head to Ann Arbor for Joby's pre-admission tests and procedures. It's sure to be a long day for everyone leading up to her open heart surgery first thing Thursday morning. Thank you for your continued prayers for this sweet baby and her family. I was holding her today and willing her to feel my love...she looked at me and smiled. God is so good. With Love from Joby's Aunt Joye
And, from the "How cute can these kids get" file, here is Joby's very own "doctor" (big sister Emberlyn)giving her heart a little listen. So, so cute!! With Love from Joby's Aunt Joye
Well, everyone, WE DID IT!! We have surpassed our original goal and there is still more money coming in! Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. When we started this fundraiser over a month ago we didn't know what to expect, we just knew we had to do SOMETHING to help this family and look how well it has turned out thanks to all of you. Joby's surgery has been bumped back a couple of days and will take place on the 24th instead of the 22nd. I will continue to send out updates through this website as her journey continues. Please continue to pray for her and her whole family. Thank you again for your kind donations that have made so many things possible for this family. With Love from Joby's Aunt Joye
Joby's surgery is 9 days away. Please continue to keep Doug, Jessica and ALL of their kids in your prayers as the surgery date draws near. It can't be easy when you're 12, 8, 6 and 2 to understand why your baby sister is in the hospital, why Mom isn't home and why Dad is trying to be 3 places at once. Thanks to the family and friends and complete strangers who have donated so that this family has one less thing to worry about. With Love from Joby's Aunt Joye
Okay, everyone, we are less than a thousand dollars from reaching our goal ($773 to be exact)!! I am so completely amazed by the response and so, so happy for Joby and her family! Thank you so much for your donations, your prayers and your happy thoughts--we appreciate them ALL! Please continue to share so that we might hit our goal--we're SO close! Wish Love from Joby's Aunt Joye
Last week Joby had to have her meds adjusted once again. Yet another reminder of her fragile state, however, we remain focused on the positive! Yesterday as I was holding her she shared some of her sweetest smiles with me and my heart completely melted. God Bless the angels in her life and God Bless Joby. With Love from Joby's Aunt Joye
We are more than half way to our goal!! The response has been simply amazing! Please remember we have an anonymous benefactor who is matching donations dollar for dollar! The deadline for donations is 10-20-13 which means Joby's surgery is less than 3 weeks away. Please continue to share her story and help her family if you can. Prayers are always welcomed!! With Love from Joby's Aunt Joye
Joby's surgery is scheduled for 3 weeks from tomorrow--it is coming up so fast! Thanks to all for the donations thus far, it means so very much to the whole family. Your prayers are being heard and are still needed. We know Joby is strong and her family is hanging in there, the next 3 weeks will be stressful but with your help they all will have everything they need. With Love from Joby's Aunt Joye
Oh, Joby, you're so very pretty! In this picture you look a little like Grandma Kvalevog. I just know she would have loved to have met you. You had a guardian angel before you were born and one day I'll tell you all about her. Loving you Sweet Joby. Aunt Joye
Even with her feeding tube she manages to give us a smile!! Sweet, sweet Joby, you are so loved!!
Your prayers are working people!! Last night Jessica got to watch her beautiful 3 month old daughter roll from her tummy to her back 3 times!! Joby continues to amaze us each and every day--just imagine how much better she's going to be once her heart is fixed next month. God is so good! Please keep praying, keep sharing her story and if you can, please donate so her family will be able to help her reach for the stars! Roll on, Joby, roll on! With Love from Joby's Aunt Joye
Just in case you're wondering....If anyone has or is planning to send money directly to Doug and Jessica instead of going through this website for whatever reason, you should know that I will be posting offline donations too so that our generous benefactor will double those funds as well! Thanks again and again for giving from your heart. Joby's heart is so very grateful! As are we all! With Love from Joby's Aunt Joye
GREAT NEWS EVERYBODY!! Today an anonymous benefactor contacted me and said that they would MATCH dollar for dollar every donation we get for Joby before the cut off date of 10-20-13. Isn't that wonderful?! So please, please, share this post and let people know. Those of you who were waiting to give, please do so as soon as possible so we can get the numbers UP and take advantage of this beautiful gift for beautiful Joby and her family. With love from Joby's Aunt Joye
We gathered yesterday at Potter's Park Zoo with about 2,000 other people "stepping up for down syndrome". Even in the rain we had a great time and Joby was a real trooper! We are selling shirts in support of Joby with proceeds going to Doug and Jessica. If you would like one, get a hold of me (Joye Tower), Jessica Kvalevog or Leah Mapes and we will get them to you. Thanks in advance for your continued support, your sharing of our page and the prayers that keep us all going--especially Joby and her family. With Love from Joby's Aunt Joye
The response to our page has left me overwhelmed and humbled. Thanks so much for the donations, the prayers and the sharing of our story. We are a big family--both on Doug's side and Jessica's side but I believe our family just got bigger!! I hope one day Joby gets to thank you all herself and in her own way. Until that time I will gladly be her voice to tell you thank you and welcome to our family.
With Love from Joby's Aunt Joye
Joby is spending tonight in the hospital and will go home tomorrow. Please continue to pray for her as every health scare reminds us just how fragile she is right now. Thank you for the donations, the kind words, the sharing of our page and your continued prayers.
God Bless each and every one of you for your donations and the sharing of our page! Every dollar helps and every prayer is heard!
Thank you SO MUCH for the donations so far!! Thanks also for the sharing with others. The more people who hear Joby's story, the more prayers and help she will receive. It means so much to the family. Thank you! Thank you!
My brother, Doug and his wife, Jessica welcomed my niece, Joby Reed Kvalevog on June 10th, 2013. Joby was born with a diagnosis of trisomy 21, aka Down syndrome. As is the case with 50% of babies born with trisomy 21, she was also born with a heart defect.
Joby will undergo open heart surgery at U of M hospital in Ann Arbor, MI on October 22nd, 2013. If there are no complications, she is expected to be in patient for two weeks. Jessica will be staying in Ann Arbor the entire time while Doug commutes when he can. He will be working full time and caring for their other four children (ages 2-12) at home in St. Johns, MI. Jessica is taking off work for Joby's surgery and recovery and will not get paid while she is off. Alas, the household income for this family of seven will be reduced to one paycheck for up to four weeks while Joby recovers.
As an example of the great kids they are raising, I'd like to share a story. Recently I was talking with their 8 year old, Gage and he asked me if I had any credit cards I wasn't using. Thinking he wanted one to play with, I gave him a Subway gift card I had in my purse that only had about a dollar on it. A few minutes later he said, "This card is cool but I was hoping I could get some real money for school clothes. I don't want Mom to spend any money on me. She needs it for Joby's surgery." Doug and Jessica are two of the most selfless people you will ever meet and as you can tell from this story, they are raising their kids the same way. Everything they do, they do for their kids and family. Their house is filled with love and laughter. Even in the face of this heartbreaking diagnosis with Joby, they found a way to make everything okay for their other children and each other. They would never ask for help on their own yet they would be the first to lend a hand to anyone else in need. That is why I'm asking on their behalf. They have medical coverage for Joby but I am asking for donations to help with replacing Jessica's lost salary, gas for Doug's commute and any other expenses as they arise. Any money left over when Joby has recovered will be used by the family for whatever they may need.
So, if you can, please donate--even a dollar will help! If you can't donate, please say a prayer for Joby and her family as they move forward with the surgery. Above all else, please hug the children in your life and count your blessings as we continue to support the blessing that is Joby.