FINALLY, ANOTHER UPDATE:
Hey everyone! WOW, has it been a rollercoaster ride! For a month and a half we have been working with a certain bank branch in Charlottesville (who shall remain nameless; it's the branch we have the problem with not the bank itself) who has been giving us the run around, not returning a single phone call, and not doing anything they said they were going/ needing to do. After, a month and a half of non-sense I went to the bank in Winchester, VA and told them everything that was going on. Out of respect she did not say the words "they messed up" but she had no idea why they didn't just do a "donations" account and why they put a hold on it. She did some digging, spoke with the bank we had been dealing with and then went over top of them to the regional manager and took care of the problem in literally 4 days. She unfroze the account, and ended up not even having to make it a donations account, she left it as "Lydia's Account" and now once we get our Bank Card WE WILL GET TO PAY THE BILLS!!!! I can't believe it! So far it is looking like we will have enough to cover all the bills or at least thus far. Lydia has twice as many doctors' appointments then other babies her age and I know at some point someone will be out to check her development and see how she's coming along but by that point we will be able to afford all the cost on our own thanks to all of you! I just can't wait till we have the current debt off our back, It been stressing me out! Now, for more good news! Lydia is doing amazing! Her hair is really starting to come back now; thick, brown and beautiful! She is always smiling and/or eating, and has really started to enjoy keeping her mommy and daddy up at nights! I like to say she does that because she just LOVES spending time with us! LOL Now, we also have some giant updates: While we were in the hospital it really showed us how important it was to get back home with our family and friends in Charlottesville, but even I didn't know it would happen this fast. A job opened up in Culpeper working for my same company and same job. I applied, got it and have now been here for 2 weeks! (PS I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT HERE IN THE NEW OFFICE! I am the happiest I have ever been!) Our house is currently on the market (hopefully it will sell fast!) and my hubby officially is unemployed starting today and will be home with the girls until we find a daycare and a job for him. So if you know of any openings, feel free to let us know! Even though this will not be our ideal setting, it will be getting us steps closer to our dreams of owning a house near all of our friends and family ïŠ We couldn't have gone through this whole Lydia ordeal without all of you guys and I can't imagine a better place to be then with family and friends!
Now you are updated on everything! It's been an eventful 3 months but our dreams are coming true! Thank you everyone for all your support, love, donations, help, hugs, kisses, messages "¦..EVERTHING! I love you all so very much! You mean the world to us. Thank you for being you!
UPDATE: First let me start by saying... LYDIA is doing great! She is keeping up with all the other babies her age and the doctor said she is doing remarkably well for what she has been through. THATS MY GIRL! Now, for the not so pleasant news... Lydia's Bank Account: We started up a bank account for sweet Lydia while we were in the hospital and from the getgo told them what it was for and our situation. Everything from this wonderful site has gone into that account as well as every check, cash and even the money that was given to Kyle and I instead of Lydia (we wouldn't have felt right if we put that in our account even though it was intended for us). But because we put cash & checks into the account and it wasn't just the money coming from the gofundme site, the bank froze Lydia's account. This happened about a month ago and we can no longer put money in or take it out (which we haven't taken any out yet cause we are waiting to get all our bills and take care of it all at once) On the plus side, they Froze the account cause you all raised so much money that we literally have to start a trust! On the down side, there are still checks we need to deposit in her account and can't b/c its frozen so if your check has not cleared yet. I am so sorry! That is why! I don't feel comfortable putting it in our account either, It should be in Lydia's. So now, we are told we have to get a lawyer and create a trust so the IRS wont come after us. If they get our bank records and see this money sitting in there they may think we have a side business or something and tax us on all of it. So we need to prove that it was all donated. Also if you guys want to claim it on your taxes that you donated to us then we would need to show that we did infact recieve donations (something like that). Anyways, I was a little angry at first because how do they expect us to pay a lawyer when obviously we are worried about Lydia's hospital bills. The bank has been so great working with us on this and are talking to their lawyers to see if we can just do a written statement stating what this money is going to be used for instead of a full blown trust cause apparently that is a bit process to go through! I don't know how long this is going to take but I really am sorry that the checks are not processed yet and I will do it as soon as the account is unfrozen. Also, our bills are starting to roll in now and I am worried that we are going to get past due notices and delinquent accounts so I will try and hurry them up. I don't want our good credit to get ruined! So, I hope this gets taken care of very soon. Again I am really sorry for the inconvience this causes some of you! And we appreciate all that you have done for us! Hopefully at the end of this we will have physical proof to show just where your dollars have gone to. Its normal for people to say "I wonder what they did with all that money" and this will show it all went to our sweet angel, Lydia. Thank you again again again and again! You all mean the world to us.
UPDATE, Kind-of: The holiday's were amazing thanks to all of you! So many of you and others, even ones we don't even know, sent gifts to Lydia and Caroline for Christmas, whether it was a donation or something they could physcially open. Caroline even got everything she wanted for the holidays and she so deserved it because I know this whole ordeal was hard on her. We are back into the swing of things here in Winchester, VA, for the most part. I cleaned the house from head to toe multiple times and have become a hand sanitizer freek! But I am sure Lydia is okay with that. Lydia has been a super happy baby even though she is currently sick with a bad cold. On New Years Day we took her to the Medexpress to have her checked out cause she was running a fever and was really fussy. (everything makes me nervous now!) After being there for only about 15 minutes the doctor recommended we got to UVA emergency room because he was worried she was having trouble breathing and her chest sounded really bad. THAT MADE US NERVOUS but we knew we would be in good hands when we got there. Once we arrived we gave them our medexpress paperwork and they took us back right away. We had a resident named, Brock, who actually was with us during the whole botulism bonanza, so he knew us and Lydia really well. He did his work on her and come to find out, she just had a cold. Nothing tylenol, saline and the nose sucker wont fix! He said, sometimes the medexpress doctors dont feel comfortable working with newborns so they sometimes send them to UVA for a second look. Anyways, I am just glad the outcome was okay on that one, You never know with Ms. Lydia. Now, at this very moment, Lydia is a happy, bouncing baby even with this the stuffy nose, watery eyes, and bad cough. This child amazes me more and more everyday! She has truly inspired me to be a better me; to be brave, keep on smiling, and to hold family close. This inspiration is a great way to start off the new year. We have had time to really sit back an evaluated what matters to us most and my husband and I have realized just how important it is for us to be near our family and friends. I don't know what we would have done if we didnt have all them around during this trying time. It has showed us how important it is for us to work on moving back home to have the kids closer to the people who mean so much to us. This is our goal for 2014! 2014 IS OUR YEAR! Please continue to pray for us and pray for Lydia. Thank you 2013 for showing us what matters most. Our hearts are leading us home...
Hey Everyone! TOMORROW IS CHRISTMAS EVE!!!!!! We are so excited in the Bywaters Household! Today Lydia had her first outing to the dentist office with mommy! She smiled and laughed as I got a molding done of my teeth. She was making me laugh and I was making her laugh. The joys of life! After that we came back home and put pictures in frames which hopefully I will be able to hang on the walls tonight before Santa and company get here! Speaking of Santa, Today when Caroline got home, we wrote a letter to Santa. It reads:
I want pink Bike, I want Pink Boots, I want Dora. Please. Hi Rudolf! Hi Santa!
I asked Lydia if she wanted to write a note to Santa and she just smiled at me, so I figured that was her way of politely telling me "No, Thank you". After we wrote the letter we put it in our mail box. We are hoping tomorrow there will be a letter in the mailbox for Caroline from Santa since Santa mail works pretty fast! Anywho, I am super anxious for Christmas! I have never wanted it to be Christmas Eve so bad in my life. I want to see the look on my babies face when she sees the presents under the tree and I can't wait for our parents to come spend Christmas day with all of us. Its truly a Special Year in more ways then one!
There are still kids in the hospital for Christmas soone thing I would like to ask all of you is to pleeeeease pray for those Children! I hope every one of them has a miracle and enjoys their special holiday! It still breaks my heart thinking of all the childern suffering from health problems and their parents that may not be able to hold their babies for Christmas. I pray for all of them! As Always, so much love from our family to yours!
Yesterday Lydia had her first doctors appointment here in Winchester,VA! I can't believe I forgot to tell you all about it! IT WENT GREAT! So far it looks like she is meeting all her milestones. Lydia is pretty well known now at Selma Medical Center because they havent had a case of botulism in 5 years and alot of those doctors have not had a baby with it at all. They were so happy to see Lydia so healthy and happy. The only downside of the visit was that Lydia can not get any vaccine for 9 months which worries me a bit. If she can't be Vaccinated then she will have to avoid sick kids big time and that is hard when she has to go back to daycare on January 13. Hopefully becuase I am still breastfeeding her, maybe that will keep her on the healthier side! Other then that, yesterday was an amazing day. We cleaned the house, finished up last minute decorations and made cupcakes for Caroline's Christmas party at daycare.
Today Caroline brought her cupcakes in and at this very moment they are having their Christmas party. I know she is having a blast! She loves everything Christmas! As for Kyle, he is running some errands and Lydia and I are hopefully going to do some laundry, dishes, unpack our suitcases (finally!) and wrap one last present for Caroline! It will be a very productive day :)
Hey Everyone! We are HOME in Winchester, VA now. We got home and the first thing we did was clean out the fridge becuase so much had gone bad. We made a list of all the things we needed to pick up from the grocery store and literally at that moment I recieved a text from one of my friends who works at Caroline's Daycare and is also my neighbor and she told us NOT to go grocery shopping. Apparently while we were gone, the Church/Daycare had a food drive for us. She literally brought 4 LARGE LARGE boxes of food including almost everything we had on our list. Its so hard to believe that they did this for US! our family! ahhh! On top of that, we dropped Caroline at daycare and Mrs. Dorothy (the daycare director) pulled us aside and gave us gifts for Caroline that her classmates got for her along with a box of money that people donated to us! I couldn't believe it! I really couldnt! Kyle & I are so beyond thankful. I just can't believe what everyone has done this for little ol us! We are no one special! We are just Geraldine, Kyle, Caroline and Lydia! A family who had a sick baby. So many have taken us under their wing and helped us make this a special Christmas and New Year for our girls and even us! This is going to be a year to remember! Instead of remember the bad I am going to remember the good and remember each and every one of you. When I look back at this and share it with the girls, I am going to share with them the kindness of people and that it truly took a village to raise them. Gosh, Everyone! Thank you for choosing to bless us! Thank you for taking us in and loving my family and especially my littlest girl. Thank you for your prayers cause I swear thats the only way we have made it out of the hospital in 16 days! Thank you for donations! Thank you for your time! Thank you for being you! We love you and always will.
Reality is hitting hard. Just spoke to my boss who made me aware that I would be getting my first $0.00 pay check for the past two weeks. My husband has not been getting paid since lydias been in the hospital either. In 2 weeks I will be getting paid because I will be using up all my vacation time that I had set for the first of the new year. After I use that up then I will be back to not getting paid. Ugh not a good start to 2014 but we will be just as strong as Lydia and get through this too. We really appreciate all the help we have recieved and continue to recieve. Having this go to Lydias hospital bills are going to be such a relief! I'm so nervous about that bill but at least we can Handle a chunk of it thanks to all of u! Please continue to pray and any advice would be so great! So much love to all of you!
We are literally on our way to mimi and papas house To surprise Caroline, our 3 year old daughter! My emotions are out the roof! This morning we had no idea we would be leaving today! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh I'm so happy! She still has some healing to do but by January 13th (the day after my birthday) she will be ready to go back to daycare! This is going to be a very special christmas, new year and birthday this year! I love u all so much and I thank u for everything. I am so thankful for the wonderful staff at UVA. they are life savers and truly amazing. Thank u to everyone at UVA PICU especially for watching over my baby 24 hours a day. U are amazing people! So much love to all
Yesterday was the first day that I didn't update :( But on a happy note there was nothing to update! Today we are going to start not feeding her through the feeding tube. She is only going to get fed by mouth. She has been doing so well and (knock on wood) I think she is back to normal. They have told us that, as long as she continues to do well, we might be able to go home in a couple of days :) I hope that comes true! I am very nervous to go home because we will be out of this safe bubble they have created for Lydia here at the hospital. I wish I could bring that bubble home but reality is that I can't. It is going to be a struggle to try and not be too over protective over both of my children but I will do my best. My husband, Kyle, is really good at keeping me grounded so I know he will keep me moving forward. I also may keep up this blogging thing to keep all of you in the loop about her progress and our progress as a family even when this is all over with. The blogging has kept me sane throughout all this. So much love to all of you.
Update: Lydia got her pick line out yesterday and today she was able to get a bath! She still has her feeding tube in but I have a feeling she will be getting that out soon cause she has been eating like a champ! She also may be able to get at home physical therapy to help her gain her strength back. As for right now I am so happy and proud of my starting girl. She has been tougher then me and I am so thankful and blessed to have her in iur lives. I love our little family of 4 and I never want to picture life without them. We are so blessed. Thank u again to all of you. I will probably be thank u all the rest of my life. So much love ♥
Vent session: Whenever I look at the photos of lydia just 2 days ago, it upsets me so bad. It literally hurts my heart. When this is all over I don't think i will be able to look at the pictures of her sick anymore. It hurts too much. I should be happy about how far she has come but instead I'm so sad she had to go through all this. I feel like I'm more traumatized then Lydia over this whole thing. I wonder if I will ever be able to look back at this and be okay with it. It just hurts seeing any child but especially ur own go through something like this. Ugh I wonder how long I will continue to cry at the fact that this wasnt a bad dream , it was real and at cry at how happy I am that she is okay. So many feelings... but still have my head up to the sky.
Thank u to all of our supporters and well wishers. Yoy guys have meant so much to us. I don't know what we would have done without u all! I really don't. You guys are amazing and have truly become our extended family. We have so much love and gratitude for all of u and this holiday season is going to be dedicated to you as well as the nurses and staff here at UVA and of course our babies, especially ms lydia. As always WE LOVE YOU
Update: lydia is amazing! Our team of about 10 people that we had when we first got to UVA came into our room to go over the plan. They are so happy to see how far she has come! We are going to work on eating the full 3oz of breastmilk by bottle and she gets her first physical therapy session today at noon. Once she passes all the therapy tests and eats like she use to then we can go home in 3 to 4 days if she does good!!! We are def going to be home for christmas!! I think everyone should come celebrate with us for the hokidays. This is going to be our best christmas yet!
Wow! So much has happened today! We have a BIG UPDATE: she has done so great throughout the night last night. Her breathing has kept improving and her voice went from making no noise to a raspy cry in one day! She also went from chewinf on her passy to actually sucking and holding it! We had the speech therapist come in and work with her on eating, she ate 43 cc's out of her bottle on the first try! The only bad thing that happened today is they were trying to put another IV in and they tried twice and couldn't get it. That was hard to watch. But instead of trying a third time they decided to just leave her central line in. After that, to comfort her, I got to breast feed her! She did great! She even fell asleep in my arms which is just the best feeling ever! After that the nurse, who I just love, told us to PACK OUR BAGS cause we were leaving the PICU and headed to the main floor! The main floor is the last step until u get to go home! And lucky for mommy and daddy these rooms havetshowers! I'm going to shower twice a day just to make up for lost time!! So now we are in our gkorious room on the main floor. We can hold her whenever and can bottle and breastfeed as needed. She is getting back to her old self faster then anyone even the doctors expected. They keep saying cause we caught it so early! I don't know how long we will be here on the main floor until we go home but I must say thank u cause i swear ur prayers are what has really shortened our stay here. We love u all so much. I made sure to also take a ton of pictures for all of u so u could see our journey from today...
So I got to hold her for abour 5 seconds and then they took her from me cause her breathing is gwtting squeeky. They say its pretty normal and they are going to give her a steroid to help with the swelling the tube has caused in her air way. She is not in respritory distress yet and hopefully it won't get to that. Ugh this is going to stress me out until we know she is a 100% okay on her own.keep the prayers coming. We need them big time during this transition period
Update: TODAY IS A DAY TO CELEBRATE!! Its my mons birthday and they are going to take the breathing tube out today!!!!! I may just be skipping around this hospital! Skipping and crying happy tears! LOL! I don't kow what time this all will happen but I WILL keep u all updated throughout they day. So beware, u may be getting a ton of messages today. We love u all!!!
Update: Lydia is completely off the morphine and has even less support from the ventilator today. They have checked her out multiple times today to eee if we are ready to take the ventilator out but she is not strong enough yet. We are getting there though!!! They think by tomorrow that she will be ready!!!!!! This is a huge huge HUGE step for us cause that means we may be able to hold our baby!!! We haven't held her in almost a week...I'm going to be a teary mess! Thank u all so much for the prayers, they are working! We still have a kong recovery but we have already come so far. This little fighter is on the road to recovery and we are moving faster then any of us thought was possible. Go Lydia Go! Mommy and daddy and everone on this page love you so much!
Update: I don't know if its the Christmas decorations and Christmas music that we are current playing but I'm extra emotional today. This morning the nurse told us she has been doing good trying to breathing but she will still have to be on the ventilator for a couple of days cause she is not that strong yet. They also took her temperature and it was 102! So they put a catheter in to get a pee sample to make sure she doesn't have an infection. They will also will be taking blood cultures to see if there is an infection. Hopefully she doesn't have a virus cause we could be here longer then expected. The hardest thing today is she is becoming more alert which means she is starting to notice the breathing tube. She will look straight into our eyes and silently cry cause she hates it. We have called the nurse in so many times just to make sure she is okay. I hate seeing her like this. I want to take away her pain and uncomfortable feeling. I want her to just wake up and just instantly feel better, not cry! Tough day for mommy and daddy but still an okay day for Lydia health wise. They will give her Tylenol for her fever. I will keep u all updated on what's causing her fever. Hopefully nothing too serious! Keep the prayers coming please. Pray that God comforts her through this when we can't. Thank u everyone. We love you!
UPDATE: GOOD NEWS!! They are trying to work on getting Lydia to breathe on her own so now they adjusted her Ventilator so she could work on her own and it would kick in only when she needs it. She has been doing so well. Maybe in a couple of days she will be able to get that horrible tube out! They also are going to start feeding her for two hours with an hour break in between so she gets closer to her normal feeds. AND they are going to take her off the morphine so she will be more alert and more herself. They will have a back up medicine (I forget what it is called) that will assist her with pain but not make her all loopy and out of it. LAST BUT NOT LEAST... The morphine was causing her not to be able to pee but since they have knocked that down yesterday she has been peeing on her own! OUR BIG GIRL HAS DONE SO WELL! I knew she was a fighter but gosh she has done even better then any of us thought. ALL THE PRAYERS ARE WORKING! I am so emotional today because I am so happy. Every day I have been here at the hospital (1 week now) I have had dreams of her getting the Ventilator out and soon my dream might actual come true! Also I havent held her in 4 days and I can not wait to hold her. I may never let go! feeling her skin against mine and knowing that we will be able to provide each other comfort means so much to me! AHHHHHHHHH I can't wait! Thank you Lord for everything you have done for my baby and THANK YOU EVERYONE for all you have done! I keep saying it really does take a village to raise these children and i will NEVER forget any of you for what you have done for us!
SO MUCH LOVE
We appreciate your continued prayer and support. We never in our wildest dreams imagined that we would have received this many donations and support from so many people. Many friends have asked us to bump up the overall goal to a more realistic amount. Its hard to know what the real amount will be but its looking like the cost could be well over $100,000 after insurance kicks in. I hope that helps out. I don't feel comfortable asking people for money and really any amount is helpful in her recovery. We just want you to know that we appreciate all your support for our daughter. We will never forget what you all have done for us.
Alot of people don't know what infant botulism is so here is some information: I want everyone to be aware of it. You will never make fun of germaphobes again. PS I just asked my husband how to spell "gemaphobes" and he said G-e-r-a-l-d-I-n-e. I think u all have helped his spirits too much. He is getting back to his normal self LOL but I will take it! Thank you all! http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/infant-botulism/overview.html
We have a bit of an update! She got her Catheter out today becuase she has been peeing on her own! I know it seems weird to be happy about that but thats becuase it means she is getting stronger! Last night she had an episode where she started coughing and they had to rush in and get fluid out of her lungs which was scary but even her just trying to cough means she is stonger. I held her hand today and she even grabbed it a little. I almost cried. She is moving around more because they went down on the morphine. It is so nice to see even the slightest bit of improvement. I went a whole day without crying becuase I can see some improvement. I know there is a light at the end of this long tunnel. Even if we are here for Christmas we will make the best of it and praise God each day.
Also, I want to send a prayer request to another hospital guest here. His granddaughter had open heart surgery and was doing well until she had a seizure last night and pulled out her breathing tube. She is so sedated that they can't run any test on her to see if she has any brain damage but they will be doing all that tomorrow. she is only 7 months old. Please pray for her as well. no child should ever have to go through this. But just like us God has a plan for all of us.
Last but def not least! THANK YOU EVERYONE. I swear I don't even feel like my thank yous do it justice. The graditude I have for all of you is over the moon! I would have never guested in a million years that we would have recieved the support that we have. You all have kept my spirits up in a time that I thought my happiness was stolen. My heart has ached more then ever before but with all the visits, well wishes, prayers, donations I really really really really really really cant thank you enough. Each and everyone of you mean the world to me. We consider you apart of our extended family. It def takes a village to raise these children and I love the village that we are in. We love each and everyone of you and hope and pray you all have a wonderful holiday and a merry Christmas.
Kyle, Caroline, Lydia and Geraldine
Wow! I can't believe all the love, support and donations we have recieved. Words truly can't express how thankful we are. I have tried to avoid looking at the site too much cause I get so emotional when I see alk that u all are doing for our baby. Gosh, I love you all so much. I really am so speachless. A dollar would have meant so much to us but seeing $5, $10, $20, 100s!!! We are unbelieveably thankful! Thank you so much everyone
Hey everyone! I wish I had more of an update but Lydia is about the same as yesterday. She is a wee bit stronger but not much. It really is going to be a long journey but our spirits are up thanks to u all and the staff at UVA medical center PICU! WE LOVE YOU ALL! And hope to have a better update soon
This hurts more then I could ever imagine. My heart aches for my sweet angel. She got a breathing tube put in since her respiratory system is starting to fail cause of her weakness. We knew this was going to happen but it doesn't hurt any less. She moet likly may have this in for a week till she can breathe on her own. The docs made me well aware tgat this is the most comforting route for her! On our long car rides I always tell Caroline, Lydias sister, that if she goes to sleep we will get to iur destination faster. I told Lydia the same thing, now that she is sadated she will wake up and instantly be healed. Its just going to be a long difficult journey for us parents. No parent should ever have to watch their baby go through this! But God has a plan and i will trust in him.
Update: lydia is getting weaker. They told us it may get worse before it gets better. They tested her breathing and its starting to get weak so they hokked her up to some machine to assist her with her breathing. She doesnt seem very comfortable. I'm hoping she gets use to it soon. They will keep monitoring her throughout the night to see if her breathing gets any worse. I think they are expecting it to cause botulism starts to paralyze her a bit and shut down her respritory. But the staff here at UVA are going to support her through this illness anyway they have to and she will be come perfect little lydia in the near future. Please keep on praying for my sweet baby girl.
On Saturday November 30th, 2013 Lydia Denise Bywaters was admitted to the University of Virginia Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. She was diagnosed with a rare case of infant botulism. The UVA medical staff had to fly in medications from California to treat this rare illness which alone cost $45, 000. Kyle and Geraldine Bywaters (Lydia's parents) are going to be facing a tough road ahead with medical bills and caring for Lydia during her difficult and trying recovery. They are asking for your help and donations. Every little bit will help and go towards paying for Lydia's medical expenses. Thank you in advance for all your support and concern during this difficult time. We will be posting updates as progress is made. We appreciate and love all of you!
All my best to you, Kyle, Caroline and Lydia. So sorry this happened but so glad she is doing better now. :-)
Merry Christmas to you and yours and hoping for a wonderful New Year for you and your family.
Campaign Not Ready
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account.
Our team has contacted them with the solution, it's a simple fix!
Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account.