Baby Richmond's Heart Repair

First of all, I would like to thank my co-workers, friends, and family for encouraging my husband and I to make this humble financial request. It has been very hard for us to swallow our pride and ask for help, but, due to the growing medical bills thus far and the uncertainty of what is yet to come, we are starting to realize the need.

Upon finally deciding and becoming pregnant after 13 years together we expected to have an easy pregnancy like all other family members before us. After our second ultrasound we were devastated to learn that our little boy has two serious, one life-threatening, congenital heart defects. We were told that had they not been found and had he been born in our regular hospital, he might have lived only a few hours after birth. After seeing two specialists hours away we have learned that he has Transposition of the Great Arteries (2 of his heart vessels are switched with each other) and a Ventricular Septal Defect (large hole in his heart). My husband and I have had a hard time talking about this with others as we have struggled with our guilt of possibly somehow causing this problem for our baby (even though doctors say the cause is unknown) and guilt from feelings of considering giving up this baby due to fear of his quality of life. It has been very difficult emotionally due to other worries along the way including a possible 3rd heart problem and a possible genetic defect on top of the heart problems. Thus far, those have been ruled out, however, in order to help ensure the baby has the best chance of survival before he can have corrective open heart surgery (s), we are required to have him in a children's hospital. As we have been informed there are no children's hospitals in the state we live, nor two other surrounding states, we are both having to take 3 weeks off prior to the due date to travel and stay near a children's hospital. Fortunately, we can stay with family who live near one, however, as I have been employed less than 1 year at my job I have not accumulated enough time to receive leave pay during maternity leave. And, since my husband is self-employed his absence will affect his income as well as it is uncertain how long we will be out. The doctors have said thus far they want to try to delay the baby's surgery for 4-6 weeks after birth with additional time needed for the surgery, recoup in the hospital, and follow-up visit with the surgeon. All of the uncertainty has been very stressful and made it difficult to do much planning, particularly financial. Although my husband and I do not like to rely on anyone else, in this case, we understand we might not be equipped to deal with this situation completely on our own. Should any help given end up not being needed, we plan to pass any unused funds to a person or some organization that helps people in a similar situation as ours.
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Organizer

Sheila Currin Richmond 
Organizer
Watford City, ND
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