Many of you already know the journey of Casey, Kaitlyn, and baby Anthony. For those of you who don't, here is their extraordinary story.
These high school sweethearts met when they were just 16 years old. Their lives took them through many difficult twists and turns. Most relationships would fizzle and burn out from what they have had to endure. But, Casey and Kaitlyn's true love kept them going strong. This love created a wonderful little boy, baby Anthony, which would forever change their lives.
Kaitlyn knew she was expecting at just 5 weeks. Casey immediately jumped into action. Although he was only 21 he stepped up to the plate and secured a home for his growing family. This wonderful little surprise was loved from the moment of conception.
At 9 weeks the first concerns about baby Anthony's health arose, just a tiny black spot on the ultrasound. This is when Casey and Kaitlyn's emotional journey began. The first 2 specialist suggested they terminate the pregnancy. This may have sounded like an easy solution to everyone except to the parents that were ending their child's life. Specialist #3, Dr. Quinterro, the director of fetal health at Jackson Memorial offered them some hope for treatment. After what seemed like a million test and weekly trips to Miami (3 hour drive each way) baby Anthony was diagnosed with a bladder obstruction. This obstruction left baby Anthony with no amniotic fluid to exercise or support the growth of his tiny lungs. Surgery would finally be done at 25 weeks to place a small shunt into his bladder to drain his urine, giving him much needed amniotic fluid. The surgery went as planned and Kaitlyn was placed on bed rest. At 2:00 am the very next morning her water broke, once again depriving baby Anthony of amniotic fluid, and the contractions began. Doctors were able to stop the contractions, yet the roller coaster ride continued. They were buying precious time, trying desperately to keep baby Anthony in the womb as long as possible. Doctors told Casey and Kaitlyn not to take things day by day, but rather hour by hour. Kaitlyn would remain in the hospital until baby Anthony was born.
Until this point, Kaitlyn had never been left alone. Somehow family found a way to be by her side for the countless appointments and procedures, working in daily and weekly shifts. Using all vacation and sick days. Casey was selected for federal jury duty in the middle of this tribulation. The family had no choice but to leave her alone during the week. At 26 weeks the call came, "Mommy I'm having contractions," a voice in the background telling her to hang up the phone. There was a click and a long lingering dial tone. Her mother drove from Lehigh Acres to Miami as fast as she could, but by the time she made it Kaitlyn was already in the post op recovery room. Their beautiful baby boy had arrived. Baby Anthony was clinging to life as the doctors tried to asses him, and Kaitlyn was recovering from an emergency cesarean section.
Kaitlyn was rushed from pre op to the NICU so she could have an opportunity to touch her tiny baby's hand. She was allowed only a few minutes with her son. Baby Anthony's heart rate began dropping. The doctors tried to save him until Casey was able to arrive. Baby Anthony was resuscitated 3 times until finally his little heart stopped beating. At 9:30 a.m. baby Anthony passed away. Although this beautiful blonde haired little boy only survived a few hours he was able to touch so many people. Baby Anthony made someone a mommy, daddy, aunt, uncle, grandma, grandpa, and great grandma for the first time. He had his birthday on earth and his birthday in heaven on the same day. He is in God's hands now.
I am sharing their story as so many wonderful family and friends have expressed their desire to help. This traumatic experience has left Casey and Kaitlyn emotionally drained, and the financial damage is only just beginning. Missed work and jury duty has left both of them without income for months and their savings drained. Although Kaitlyn had insurance the uncovered portions have already topped $5,000.00. The medical expenses for the birth of baby Anthony and treatment have not yet come in. If you would like to help Casey and Kaitlyn please visit www.Gofundme.com.
A service for baby Anthony will be held at St. Elizabeth Seton in Golden Gate. The service is open to all family and friends. Date and time to be announced. Thank you for your love, support, and prayers.
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