Praying for Hazel
On Mother's Day I had the privilege of spending the day with the strongest Mom I know, my sister, Veronica. She is the mother of Brayden 5, Bowie 3, and her baby girl Hazel who is 7 months. With Veronica staying in Los Angeles and me now living just an hour and a half south, it wouldn't have made sense for me not to visit! So my sweet girl Scarlett and I hopped in the car and went to LA to have a Mother's Day "˜girl party' filled with lunch, laughs and pedicures. The best part was after seven long months of staring at photos and videos of Hazel, I finally got to meet my niece. AND Scarlett got to meet her only girl cousin!
Unfortunately, I am not posting this story to recommend the place we ate for lunch. Instead, I want to share how our visit began and ended at the L.A. Ronald McDonald house. That is where Veronica and Hazel have been living since April and will be for the next several months. The house was an impressive place filled with wonderful little darlings, but it is impossible to describe the horrific feeling of seeing my little sister living in a Ronald McDonald house with her sick little Hazel, and worst of all, without her boys and husband, Ken, who are back in Tucson, AZ where they live.
Hazel has a liver disease that is gradually blocking her body from absorbing essential nutrients it needs to grow, to function:and to live. She is currently awaiting a new liver that is small enough for her body to adopt with transplant surgery. She is enduring many of the symptoms any person would in liver failure. Her skin color has an orangey tint, the whites of her big, beautiful, blue eyes are yellow, and she is irritable because she is itchy and uncomfortable all of the time. Although she is growing slowly in length, her body is no longer gaining weight and has lingered just less than 14 pounds for a couple of weeks now. Her limbs are skinny and she has a big round belly, but she is very alert and sweet as can be.
Hazel has a procedure scheduled for this week to insert a permanent IV tube in her chest, which will feed her nutrients. The goal is to get her to grow so her options for livers open up. She is so tiny that, even as she quickly moves up on the transplant list, the functional livers for her mini body are few and far between.
Since December, Hazel has endured several tests, pokes, and prods by doctors and specialists to diagnose her, sending my sister and her family on a rollercoaster, and leaving little miss very anxious around adults. They received many predictions and ideas of what was causing the discoloration and discomfort of their little Hazel, but not until April could the doctors, Veronica and Ken finally put a plan in place to make her better.
Now, being in the Ronald McDonald House and close to the specialists Hazel needs at UCLA, they can rest assured that she is where she needs to be. It is challenging for Veronica to be away from Brayden and Bowie, and especially for Ken to be away from his daughter while her sickness gets scarier. However, as a family they are trusting prayer, God, love, and their doctors to make Hazel strong so she can finally be healthy and live a long and normal life.
I share this story to ask for prayers, positivity and love for this strong family. They would like to distribute "˜Praying for Hazel' bracelets to anyone and everyone that is willing to wear one. They have been so moved by all of the support received thus far, and are finding solace and comfort in spreading the word about their little girl. This is my attempt to also do that for them.
I created this forum to ask for special words of inspiration. Anyone who contributes will receive a "˜Praying for Hazel' bracelet to where.
As her sister, I also hope to raise money for the family to help cover extra expenses they are now incurring. I ask that you please consider a donation of $1, $5, $20, $100:maybe more? My goal is $15,000, and anything to help me get there would be appreciated more than I can express. $15,000 would help them cover the costs of medicine, daytime help for their boys, and the Ronald McDonald House stay for up to 6 months. Of course, it is just a "˜goal' and I like to reach high, especially for my girls! Anyone who donates even just a word of inspiration will receive a "˜Praying for Hazel' bracelet and many, many thank you's from the bottom of my heart!!!
Please email your mailing address to me and I will send you as many bracelets as you request.
I'll update this GoFundMe site on Hazel and her condition as time progresses:please keep Praying for Hazel!
Hazel is going home tomorrow!!! Yes, home home"¦back to Arizona! It is incredible how well Hazel is doing since she received her new liver. She is eating a ton, smiling all the time and perfectly perfect!
Thank you to the tiny real-life hero and family that gave this precious girl the chance to live. You will never be forgotten and will always be loved.
Many thanks, as well, to all the Hazel supporters out there! The Galbraith family could not have gotten through this without your love and support!
Although Veronica and Hazel get to go home, and we are all ecstatic about it, many beautiful people that have come into their lives during this journey will be missed. Just to name a few, Lilly (another amazing baby fighting for her life), Nick (a young dude full of energy and inspiration), and Hadley (Hazel's tiny friend in desperate need of a liver as well)"¦Veronica is sure to keep in touch, and you will all be in our thoughts and prayers forever!
Another HUGE thank you to the wonderful transplant doctors and nurses at the hospital...special thanks to Maddie, an amazing nurse that cared for Hazel and became a great friend to Veronica.
I am sure I am not alone in also paying a great amount of credit to my brother in law, Kenny, who has been a daddy and stand-in-mommy to Brayden and Bowie, provider to the family, a long distance supporter to Veronica, and so much more. You have had a huge responsibility on your shoulders and you are an amazing daddy and husband for all you have done over these last 8 grueling months!
There will be many trips back LA during the first year Hazel is out of the hospital, and she will need a procedure to remove the TPN port in November, but the worst is definitely over! Veronica, you have stuck this through like a champ"¦you had your moments, but there were few. You are the most admirable mommy I know. I LOVE YOU. Now go have some damn fun!!!!!
Hey everyone! It has been a while, but in this case "no news is good news" indeed!
Hazel and Veronica had some visitors on Monday "“ Grandma, Grandpa, me and my Scarlett. It was so exciting to be there with those two ladies as they packed up and prepared to leave the hospital! What exciting news to hear once we arrived!! The ladies enjoyed their last meal at the hospital grille, had the last round of tests and scans, said their "˜good-byes' and got all their meds before being discharged. What a team Hazel had! It was so touching to witness all of the love and care that surrounded her. It is no doubt that her caregivers and floor-mates had a significant influence on her recovery.
She is doing amazing! She laughs and kicks, plays, grabs, grunts (a lot) and is such a perfect angel. She is even close to sitting up on her own! Hazel is so beautiful both inside and out, just like her mommy. It is crazy to think about all they have been through, but what a relief that she is at this phase of her disease, biliary atresia "“ transplanted, healthier than ever, recovering, healing, and most of all, here with us. It is hard to think about how close she came to leaving us. Veronica has learned that she may not have had one more week of waiting left in her based on Hazel's liver's condition once it was removed and studied. This world is so lucky to still have this amazing little girl!
Now that you are at the Ronald MacDonald House for a few weeks before you two can go home, I want to tell you, Veronica, how impressed I am as your big sis and as your friend. You are an amazingly strong human being, and it surprises me that you were able to push through as gracefully as you did. Although it is not quite the "˜end,' and your role as a mommy will be different for Hazel than it is for your boys and what most of us mommies are familiar with, your life is no longer about waiting, and I am so thankful for that for you. I love you and miss you both terribly already!
Thank you to all Hazel and family supporters! Your support, love, prayers, positivity, contributions and thoughtfulness will forever be treasured. Keep praying for Hazel!
Her enzyme levels were lower today! Good news!
The docs are going to check her levels again at midnight tonight...I hope to have good news involving a discharge date soon!
She looks great! Love the curls. God is good all the time..all the time God is good.
Psalm 91.11 For he shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.
I pray for hazel every day. I pay she gets a Liver and her outcome is as good as gages has been.
Many prayers and positive thoughts are coming....now and always!!
The little darling looks good! I have been wearing her bracelet ever since I got it and I send up a thought and a prayer every time I wash my hands or look at it.
"Glad she is getting nutrition from the operation. Stay optimistic. God knows what He is doing. Have Faith and Trust in the Lord with all you Heart.
Sending lots of love and prayers. This story touched me we have been there. My grandson that we are guardianship of was born with alpha 1 anti trypsin defeciency. It destroyed his Liver. At the age if for he was in end stage failure. The itchy body and yellow skin is far to familiar. The small size and unable to absorb the nutrients to grow were present also. He only weighed 26lbs at four years old. He got his translate a few months after his fourth birthday. He is doing great he just turned eight in may. He went to childrens LA for his surgery and we still go there for his follow up care. Please contact new on fb of you need someone to talk to. This is all familiar to me. Hugs and prayers to your family and your baby girl. Dolores
Sending prayers everyday.
Yes...we are related then, Kelly! I love that you have an want to help..and spreading the word is a wonderful way to do that. I believe anyone is able to email this page and can also share it on their facebook or twitter account....I also like the old fashioned word of mouth as well...anyway to spread the word and story of Hazel so others can pray. We are sending out bracelets to anyone who would like to wear one that say "praying for Hazel"...please email us your address at email@example.com...thank you everyone!...our hearts continued to be inspired by your generous love!
I am certain you all are related to me. I was a Henderson; Olive is my grandma and Edna is my Great Aunt. Anyway, what can I do to help? I will spread the word everywhere! Please let me know.
Thank you all for all the beautiful messages...
Thank you Greg for your thoughts for our family..I wilk certainly pray for your son! Biliary atresia is what they thought Hazel might have had in the beginning of this process and I know how very serious that condition is. I would love to know more of your story to learn about being a parent of a child with liver disease, but also to better pray for your child's situation! Thank you for being so loving to our family...I hope we can show some unto yours! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
My thoughts and prayers are with your family keep strong and never lose your faith and always trust in God love always the Ashley Family!!
My heart aches for your incredible family. Being displaced and dealing with such a scary situation is overwhelming. My wife and I live in the San Diego area and have an almost 1 year-old boy fighting Biliary Atresia. We understand the turmoil Liver disease causes. Know that we are praying for your amazing little Hazel. Please let us know if there is anyting that we can help. If we can make a trip up to L.A. and bring anything, we'd love to help.
We are very grateful for your thoughts and prayers Brandy. We kniw those are rhe greatest gift we can receive! I so appreciate your effort in spreading the word to pray for Hazel! Please let us know your address so that we can send you some bracelets. Again...we thank you!
God bless. I wish I could financially donate, but I will be donating my prayers and thoughts. I will be sure to spotted the word to help you on your quest to raise the money. I wish you all the luck and positive thoughts.
I'm blessed that I have a sister that created such a beautiful page on behalf of my daughter! The fact that others took the time to read it and maybe prayed about her really touches my heart. Beyond that, it is an incredible thing to see give so selflessly! I know some of you well, some a little, some a long time ago and some not at all...and all of you care about our family...and that will be kept with me forever!
My prayers are with you and your family. She is a beautiful baby and she deserves only the best! I hope she gets the transplant so that she can live the future that god has planned for her! God bless you beautiful baby girl!!
Oh wow! I am so touched by such a generous and immediate response! Thank you doesn't cover it!