Help Athena Rose

This is Athena, my little warrior. She is 7 months old now and she’s the strongest person I know. Despite everything she has been through, she is a happy outgoing baby who loves cuddles, dogs, and food. She is my entire world and my greatest blessing.

When I was 19 weeks pregnant, I was so excited to go to my ultrasound and find out the sex of my child. This was a moment I had been anticipating since learning I was pregnant; however, I knew something was wrong the moment the tech went silent and started focusing on her heart. The next day I had an appointment with a local cardiologist who was very honest with me- she wasn’t sure what was wrong with her heart and immediately recommended going to Boston Children’s Hospital. It was at Children’s that I first got a diagnosis. My little girl had a right atrial diverticulum or aneurysm. It’s actually a really rare condition and something that even Children’s doesn’t see often. I believe the last time they saw something like this was a decade ago. It means that she had an aneurysm in her right atrium that caused her atrium to grow at a greater rate than the rest of her heart.

I stopped working in September due to the high risk nature of my pregnancy and Miss Athena Rose was born on October 3rd. She remained in the NICU for 10 days before being allowed to come home on oxygen and at two months she underwent open heart surgery. By the time she went in for surgery, her right atrium was 3x bigger than normal. That one chamber was roughly the same size as the rest of her heart.

I am beyond blessed that my daughter survived this pregnancy, the surgery, and continues to flourish now. I am so thankful for my amazing family and friends who have helped me and supported me throughout this whole experience. Unfortunately, I am a single mother and am relying on my income alone. I am so fortunate to be working now and am able to provide for Athena’s daily needs. However, I am really struggling to find a way to cover the medical expenses from Athena’s stay in Boston. I am still arguing with the insurance company to ensure that they will actually cover the surgery (that alone is a $75,000 bill), but I currently have about $6000 worth of bills due that I know aren't covered by insurance.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m really stubborn and hate asking for help on even the simplest things. It kills me now to have to ask for help so publicly even though so many people have suggested that I do so. At the end of the day, I just want to be the best mother I can be. For me, that means relying on my strength, compassion, patience and resiliency, but setting my pride aside. We would greatly appreciate any help, no matter how small. Thank you.

Donations (36)

  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 5 yrs


Katie Mello
Peabody, MA

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