Baby Drew Ballinger

Drew Ballinger was born on November 14th. He has overcome countless obstacles and is quite the warrior.


We feel like the power of prayer and the support of the medical staff, family, friends, and even strangers has allowed Drew a chance at life.


However, with this journey has come lots of expenses that most any normal family would find devastating.


Leanne had to quit work to be on bed rest months before Drew was born. Leanne is living in Nashville to be close to Drew while Mike is commuting back and forth to keep Nate on a normal school calendar and allow him to work some.


I have set this page up because so many people have asked how they can help, and honestly, the monetary aspect that the Ballinger's are about to face is daunting.


Mike and Leanne are reluctant to ask for anything more than prayer, but I wanted to give people the opportunity to help this family with their financial gift.


Russ Wise, Leanne's brother


Drew's Journey (From Leanne's Caring Bridge web page)

At the ultra sound they discovered that our sweet boy has a congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). This is a hole in his diaphragm that has allowed his stomach and intestines to move up into his chest cavity and push his heart over to the right side of his chest (his heart should be on the left). The organs being displaced have also inhibited the growth of his lungs. Four weeks later at the next ultrasound, they discovered that the baby also has a heart defect. This is unrelated to the hernia. He has a hole in his heart, the pulmonary valve is narrowed, and his left ventricle is smaller than it should be. Both the hernia and heart defects are surgically repairable with fairly good prognoses individually. However since he has both issues, it decreases his chances of survival. 


He was delivered by C-section on November 14th at Vanderbilt Children's hospital in Nashville. This is because they have a machine called ECMO which is a heart and lung bypass machine. As soon as Drew was born, he was evaluated in regard to the severity of his heart problem and whether his left ventricle will be able to both sustain his life and withstand the surgery needed. Drew has fought through these obstacles and has increased his chances of survival from 20% to 80%. He will most likely be in the NICU at Vanderbilt for the next 2 to 3 months.



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Leanne Ballinger 
Knoxville, TN
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