Ariyah's Allies

$6,660 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 101 people in 3 months
"Somewhere along the way, we must learn that there is nothing greater than to do something for others." - Martin Luther King Jr.

Dear Friends and Family of Jazmyne Torres and Ariyah,

In the last week, Jazmyne’s household’s foundation has been shaken to its core after Ariyah’s visit to urgent care resulted in an extended stay in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit with a critical lung infection.

As you we all know one medical emergency can cause a financially stable household to spiral into a financial disaster.

Thus far, she has received the best possible support in the hospital and guidance from Social Workers on how to apply for the Florida Medical Leave Act – which allows an employee to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave.  Though the FMLA will protect the career she has worked incredibly hard to maintain-- it does not protect her family's housing and financial stability.

Knowing there is an absence of resources that intervene before a crisis is out of control a group of her friends has created a Go Fund Me account to help support her family during this moment of chaos and uncertainty.

In my estimation, Jazmyne and Heather will not be able to work to pay for themselves for some time to come, as they care for the immediate medical needs of Ariyah during her long road to recovery.

They have rent, utility bills and other existing expenses (not including the unintended expenses that have risen since Ariyah’s stint in the PICU) that will quickly exhaust any savings accounts they may have.

They must be able to fully invest in Ariyah and though their family is large, Heather and Jazmyne will predominantly need to be by Ariyah’s side throughout the duration of her intensive recovery and care.

I have estimated that $3,500 will provide enough financial support as of yet – this number is likely to grow as they seek out specialists to support Ariyah’s complex medical needs.

The money received will be managed by relatives to be distributed as the family’s expenses are defined and managed - we are still working out details - but have a competent team ready to get this started.

It is imminent she and her family receive the support, any amount will help us give this amazing family an ounce of ease they so desperately need.

I close with a quote from Charles Dickens “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” 

We thank you for your support. 

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Hello All,

I am sending this update to recognize and appreciate all of your prayers and donations during the course of the last month. I know it has been a few weeks since you have heard from us and I am sure many have been informed through facebook but after taking into careful consideration about Ariyah's extended stay in the PICU this last month, and the nightmare it has been for the family, I wanted to wait to send along an update pertaining to Ariyah's recovery, simply because I wanted her family to have just a few days to watch in amazement and share every single moment possible celebrating all that Ariyah has overcome without having the distraction of checking balances, paying bills, and maintaining their sanity all the while organizing Ariyah's care while she is still admitted to the PICU and once she is discharged. (TBD)

After receiving what seemed to be a lifetime of critical medical support Ariyah's lungs and heart are working together and Ariyah's health has improved drastically. Ariyah is no longer relying on a ventilator for breathing support. Her vitals, labs, energy, and endurance are great. She is talking, sassying, and showing every ounce of fight she has left in her.

Currently, she is sitting up, playing, and meeting the health and recovery expectation her medical teams have for her as of now. This includes PT, OT, nutrition, speech therapies and other necessities to help treat the residual effects of her extended hospital stay.

As we all know the world leaves no one behind. Though we wish when times are tough we can press pause, and resume to everyday life "as usual" once the chaos settles around us, we can't and even with the incredible support she has recieved thus far, Jazmyne and her family are not an exception.

Right now, Jazmyne is still out of work and there is not an estimation of when Ariyah will be discharged, and capable of maintaining their life as they once knew it. Jazmyne's FMLA expires in March and conversations being had are leading to her preparing to take a personal leave - though we are praying that will not need to happen, nothing is guaranteed.

We have almost reached our goal to help float her throughout the next few months. Please continue to share and spread good faith.

Best wishes,

Financial Update:

As of January 2, 2019, all of Jazmyne's bills have been identified and paid in full until March.

As of January 2, 2019, all of Heather's lost wages were recouped, seeing as she has exhausted all of her PTO and other applicable benefits.
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The road to recovery will be far longer than anyone of us could have imagined.

For the last 10 days Jazmyne and Heather have exhausted themselves hoping that there would be a breakthrough, a Christmas miracle, a single prayer answered. Unfortunately, none of the aforementioned occurred. Ariyah’s health has been the epitome of a rollercoaster ride — twists & turns, gut wrenching, heart in your throat, adrenaline rushing moments. Ariyah’s blood pressure has sky rocketed, her blood pressure has plummeted, yet Ariyah’s tenacity and spirit has gone unscathed. In the last 10 days, she has given Jazmyne and Heather a run for their money: long nights, alarms, restraints, bite guards, barbies, sass, I love yous and resilience.

Ariyah has fought long and hard and the end result left Ariyah in a very compromised condition. A few nights ago her body went into septic shock. Her blood count is low and her lungs are yet again fighting off a nasty and very resistant infection. The combination of it all has left Ariyah’s attending medical team no other choice than to distribute a paralytic and stronger pain and sedation medications in hopes to calm her body’s natural functions down to allow the medicine and treatments to do their job.

Today, Ariyah received a blood transfusion and she will continue to receive 100% breathing support until further notice

The short term goal is to get her stable enough to undergo surgery to remove as much of the phlegm from her lungs as possible. Then, for her to heal and improve enough to undergo surgery to provide a tracheotomy to further strengthen her breathing and quality of life.

Ariyah has been admitted in the PICU for over 20 days and remains one of, if not, the sickest child in PICU.

Jazmyne and Heather and doing their best to attend all of the Doctor’s rounds at the hospital and to be bedside for Ariyah at any hour of the night.

The initial estimation of $3500.00 was to provide financial security to cover Jazmyne and Heather’s income lost during Ariyah’s admittance to the PICU, which was estimated to be 3 weeks plus extended care afterwards. Jazmyne and Heather are incredibly grateful to have been able to surpass that goal due to nearly 60 contributors. They have surely cushioned the loss of income and additional expenses occurred thus far.

However, after meeting with Ariyah’s medical team today her Doctor believes Ariyah will remain in the PICU until her lungs, and tracheotomy are healed. The MRI’s, Echo’s and labs are all negative and or resemble a clean bill of heath. They were very clear that Ariyah’s recovery will not be expeditious. Realistically leaving Jazmyne without a source of income for an additional 6-8 weeks or longer.

We are calling on everyone to help share this post and GoFundMe to help meet this Household’s needs.

We are trying to secure $7000.00 for this family to look beyond the next three months of living expenses to tend to Ariyah and themselves in any shape or form.

Please consider making a donation today. Should you have any questions, please email tinamarie.giarla@gmail.com

Best wishes,
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Update from Mom:

Yesterday, the doctors tried to take Ariyah off the ventilator. Unfortunately, it was very unsuccessful.
She had great difficulty breathing on her own and her medical team went forward and re-intubated her to help give her the assistance she needs. Her breathing passageways are very swollen and she was in need of steroids again, so she is back on Nitric Oxide until further notice (hoping just a few days)

The good news is that the doctors do not believe her difficulty breathing is due to the lung infection she has been receiving antibiotics for. They attribute her difficulties breathing as a known ailment for children with down syndrome.

Unfortunately, if Ariyah does not respond well after receiving steroid treatments and oxygen assistance via intubation, her doctors believe that a tracheostomy will dramatically improve Ariyah's health outcomes both short and long-term.

A tracheostomy is an artificial opening into the windpipe (trachea) that is held open by a tracheostomy tube. This will help Ariyah breathe more easily because now her air goes in and out through the tracheostomy tube and bypasses the nose and mouth.

After a very long and emotional evening discussing Ariyah's complex medical needs, her family trusts her team of doctors and will proceed with their recommendations.

Grateful for every chance to comfort and cuddle Ariyah, it goes without saying how much Jazyme and Heather's world revolves around Ariyah and they are not so patiently waiting to have her freed from all of the wires and tubes binding her to the hospital bed.

"At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person."

Jazmyne, Heather, and Ariyah are so incredibly grateful to have hundreds of people helping to keep their spirits high and their faith unwavering.

Thank you all so much for the support.

Best wishes,
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Hello everyone,

Here is a quick update from mom.

Last night Ariyah had a great night. She only required 40% oxygen through the breathing machine. This is a huge improvement after needing nearly 100% oxygen assistance just three days ago.

The PICU team is aiming to slowly wean her off of the breathing machine as well as the blood pressure medicine. They are confident taking the next steps to get her breathing on her own again with just assistance from a CPAP machine which will be used to alleviate the existing breathing issues caused from her sleep apnea.

This is a sign that the antibiotics and steroids being used to treat her severe asthma, pneumonia and rhinovirus are slowly working.

They are still waiting for another MRI to occur to help understand the cause and if any damage occurred from the seizure. SO TBD.

Her cardiologist will step in at a later date to further address her pulmonary hypertension.

Finally, it seems that the light at the end of this tunnel is near.

Thank you all so much for sending along the well wishes, prayers, and of course helping Ariyah, Jazmyne and Heather during this very strenuous time.

#teamariyah #ariyahstrong

Best wishes,
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Raised by 101 people in 3 months
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