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Oliver Armendariz

$23,669 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 205 people in 8 months
Created August 2, 2018
Oli's Team
on behalf of Gracie Hope Reed
Oliver Sterling Armendariz was born on July 30th, 2018. He arrived early, at 33 weeks and 6 days, weighing 4 pounds. Within just a few hours after delivery he was diagnosed with "VACTERL Syndrome", VACTERL orrcurs in 1/10,000 births, and while it is gene-based, it is random and no known cause exists. Oli endured his first surgery in his first 24 hours of life, and has a handful of medical needs that will change daily. He is currently in the NICU and will likely be there for several months.

Oliver had surgery on July 31st to repair his esophageal atresia. The surgeon was able to repair a tracheoesophageal fistula (where the esophagus is connected to the trachea). At a later date another surgery will be performed to attach the esophagus to the stomach, Oliver currently has a feeding tube and a colostomy. He will begin feedings on August, 4th. Gracie has been pumping and freezing her milk, and they can't wait to feed their baby. 

In addition to the esophageal atresia, Oliver also has an anal atresia (absent anus). He will likely have two surgeries to attend to this issue once he weighs around fifteen pounds. 

Oliver's extended stay in the NICU and multiple operations will be expensive; we are still not sure how much will be covered by insurance. The procedure for the anal atresia may require travel to another city/state to find the best option for Oliver's case. 

Any donation is a blessing to us, and we thank you for your gift.  

We are in love with this precious baby boy, and this little "fruitful peacemaker" is changing lives already!

Lucas, Gracie, Oliver, and Family
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We received some disappointing news today. Medicaid has denied Oliver's transfer to Boston. We also had a very long family consult with his professional care team (most of them anyway) and they agree that Boston seems like the appropriate choice for Oliver. This is why your support is so important - even when we all agree that Boston is the right move, there's no guarantee that insurance will pay for it. Make no mistake - Oliver will get to Boston. But Medicaid so far has been a joke. We need every penny that can be spared to get Oli to Boston in the next 6 weeks. After 4 mos, he will lose his natural ability to swallow and will have the significant challenge of an oral aversion. If you want to support us one step further, call people that make these policies, laws, and decisions that enable Medicaid to behave this way, and tell Oliver's story..tell them we have a medically fragile baby that Medicaid is refusing to transfer to the foremost speciality hospital for his condition. Tell them that if he doesn't get to Boston, an already complicated syndrome will be even more challenging for him to overcome. Tell them that Medicaid is refusing to send him to the place that could ensure he lives a healthy life with minimal complications. He needs our voices to fight this. And he needs our financial support to get him there.
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From Oli's mama, Gracie:
I would just like to take a second to thank everyone who has donated, reached out, and has shared our gofundme link. This is genuinely helping us so much, and we can’t even begin to show our appreciation to everyone who has offered their support. This whole thing has been so incredibly scary, and adding the trip to Boston has been hard to process, though we know it’s so needed. There are just so many uncertainties - where I will stay, how I will afford transportation, how Lucas will afford to fly from Texas to Boston to stay with me every now and then, how we will be able to make rent while I'm out of work...your donations are making all of these uncertainties a little less scary. At first, I had a hard time with the idea of receiving donations. But this experience has shown me that there is NOTHING wrong with asking for help, especially when you do desperately need it.
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Thank you for all of your continued love, support, and prayers.

We have officially requested a transfer to Boston Children's for Oliver. This is Oliver's best option towards a successful treatment plan and recovery. Sending him (and Gracie) to Boston is a necessity but not without significant cost (even with Medicaid).

Please continue to give what you can to support Oliver. This journey could very well mean the difference between life long disability or a fully functional, "normal" life.

We love him deeply.
Thank you for loving him with us.
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We continue to be so humbled by your generous spirits. Thank you for continuing to stand with us on this journey! A few updates for Oliver:

He continues to fluctuate in weight. A constant roller coaster, he'll gain a few ounces and lose a few ounces. This is in part because of his very small stomach (it's about the quarter of the size it should be at last measure) and his ostomy. Mommy has increased her pumping times to get more of the rich, fatty milk instead of the less rich milk that is expelled for the first few minutes. We're hoping this, along with an increase of fats to his nutritional plan, will pack on the pounds (or ounces in his case) much faster!

We continue to remain concerned about his g-tube site. It is uncomfortably close to his ostomy and when his ostomy bag leaks, gastric fluid makes the skin around his g-tube super sensitive and angry. One of his amazing nurses, Priscilla, spent literally hours devising a new protective set up for that area and so far we can see a bit of difference.

Oli continues to struggle with very thick saliva. This may be in part to his mouth being open constantly due to his replogle tube. CoCo asked nurse Blakely (one of Oli's biggest fans and a nurse we all adore) if we could look into glycerine mouth swabs that will keep his mouth moist without adding fluid. She is awaiting doctor's word on that, but thought it was a great option to try. More on that as we know more, but the thick saliva continues to be the most critical risk to his health, as it is difficult to suction and causes scary choking episodes and terrifying desats.

We still don't have a date for his next esophageal surgery, so we remain in this frustrating but necessary holding pattern. Time is so important to Oliver, but oddly enough also creates the most daunting financial challenges. We continue to seek your support for Oliver, Gracie, and Lucas. We're so grateful that you all love Oliver as much as we do and are cheering him on with financial support and prayer support! Every dollar helps get our sweet angel baby home sooner, truly!
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A CaringBridge campaign

$23,669 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 205 people in 8 months
Created August 2, 2018
Oli's Team
on behalf of Gracie Hope Reed
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