A healthy heart for Jamie

Alan and Carien Harcombe are raising money for their daughter, their precious gift, little Catherine Jamie Harcombe, better known as Jamie, Jamma, Jimmy tubes, Jam pot, Jimma Jamma, James... 

Jamie was born 4 months ago,with Trisomy 21 (we all know it as Downs Syndrome). Heart defects are fairly common in babies with T21, and come 11 July this year, little Jamie entered the world (a tad early we might add) and her initial echocardiograms showed a complete AV-canal, with a large primum atrial septal defect, a large inlet ventricular septal defect, and a common anterior bridging leaflet, with chordal attachments to the septum. Not a pretty picture as a start to a new life! 

Soon after birth Jamie developed some signs of pulmonary overcirculation and was soon on a regime of medicines to assist the heart in its function and to aid the body in not retaining too much fluid which is detrimental to the lungs. Jamie spent a month in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of Baptist hospital in Miami and was ultimately transferred to the NICU of Miami Childrens Hospital because of persistant feeding problems, thought to be as a result of the congestive heart failure and reduced feeding skills related to hypotonia as well as decreased coordination due to the T21. In a nutshell, feeding was so exhausting for little Jamma that she just couldn't manage to eat as her tiny heart would work so hard that she would just pass out from exhaustion. This combined with the fact that she arrived early and was essentially a very small little angel didnt help either.

Eventually after much persuasion, Jamie was presented to the world famous Pediatric Heart Surgeon and it was agreed that, for Jamie to be operated on, she would need to grow bigger and get stronger and the only real way to do so was by inserting a \"G-Tube\" into her little tummy, so that whatever she couldn't drink she would get fed via this tube, which is a semi-permanent little tube that runs directly into her belly!  This was also the only way that Jamie could be discharged from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, in which she spent the first two months of her life.  Some of the doctors said that she would never reach a \"target weight\" in time etc, but with a lot of care and love, she started to gain weight.

What prompted the earlier than expected trip to Miami was that Jamie stopped eating or even just making any attempt to eat. She just simply was too tired and her breathing also became highly exaggerated. Jamie showed significant symptoms of pulmonary overcirculation and she remained with pulmonary hypertension, with a significant right ventricular hypertrophy on her EKG. In simple terms, Jamie needed to get her heart repaired immediately. 

Unfortunately, due to our medical insurers refusing to fund any of Jamie's expenses above their $250,000 limit, Jamie could not be admitted to the Miami Childrens Hospital's Cardiac Surgery Unit for her scheduled surgery on 1 November 2011.
  Jamie's condition continued to get worse, but due to the incredible assistance we received from her Pediatric Cardiologist, Dr Madeleen Mas, Jamie was admitted to the hospital based on the urgent nature of her condition.  Jamie received open heart surgery on 3 November 2011, undergoing nearly 6 hours of surgery to repair her little heart.  We truly witnessed a miracle take place as the doctors had to stop Jamie's heart and put her on life support machines in order to repair her heart.  Jamie made it through the surgery like a real trooper, but unfortunately developed fluids around her heart a few days later, which required another surgery to remove it.  Jamie is now recovering in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.  Without this surgery, our little angel would not have seen her first birthday, never living up to her true potential. Now she received a second chance and we all know she is going to continue to grow in everyone\'s hearts and be loved even more than she already is.  She has shown the world what a great fighter she is, putting up with all the pain and discomfort. 

Unfortunately we as parents are not in the position to pay the medical bills and having no support from the medical insurers, we are getting desperate.  That is why we created this webpage to raise awareness for little Jamie and ask the world to open their hearts for Jamie\'s fixed heart.

The money collected will go towards paying the medical bills of Miami Childrens Hospital, including surgery, cardiologists, radiology, hospital costs and anaesthesia.

The hospital has agreed to give us discount on our expenses, but even so, the total cost which is close to $300,000 is out of our reach. 

We will continue to raise funds in order to pay the medical bills, and would also like to pledge additional funds, God willing, to Dr Madeleen Mas\'s charity fund which is used for situations like ours where families are desperate to care for their miracle babies but is denied help due to lack of funds.

Together we can create awareness and help those in need, as not everyone was blessed with good health, but everyone of us can make a difference.
  • William Loblaw 
    • $200 
    • 116 mos
  • Perspektief Opleidingskollege 
    • $120 
    • 116 mos
  • Jacques Bosch 
    • $121 
    • 116 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 116 mos
  • Chris & Cara 
    • $150 
    • 116 mos
See all


Carien Roberts-Harcombe 
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