Connelly was born prematurely at 25 weeks and weighed 1lb 9oz. He was in the NICU for 10 months, during which he received medication to treat a hole in his heart, endured a spinal tap, and was intubated for 7 months while machines assisted his breathing. He caught and was treated for a staff infection, received surgery on his airway and endured multiple bronchoscopies.
Due to his premature birth Connelly has lung disease, paralyzed vocal cords, and a severely narrowed airway. We all have given him the nickname Batman. He is a fighter! He has survived against all odds and diagnoses.
His parents Kimmi and Rachael Boothe have admirably stood up for their son and his care. Having a preemie in chronic condition in the NICU is stressful and difficult. Unfortunately, they themselves endured some discrimination. Connelly’s parents are both women. He has the two most loving and strong women as his moms. They dated for 3 years before getting married. I was so fortunate to have met these wonderful women and see them go through the process of choosing a donor so they could have a child. They searched and researched to find the perfect match. They were so excited about expanding their family and sharing their love with children. These incredible, intelligent, hard working women are the best parents a child could ask for. They have so much love for each other, their families and friends. It’s infectious. You can’t help but feel loved after spending time with them.
Nothing showed their love and strength more than when they were caring for Connelly in the NICU at Egelston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta. They were there with their son 100% of the time. Sleeping in recliners every night, giving every bath and changing every diaper. They were present for every procedure, every decision, every treatment. They questioned everything, asked for second opinions, educated themselves on everything and weren’t afraid to say no to things that they weren’t comfortable with having their son go through.
Because of their strength, love and dedication, their son was able to come home at 10 months. They administer his medications, take care of his feeding tube, have oxygen tanks delivered, and constantly keep track of his heart monitor day and night. Because of them, Connelly is a happy 2 year old. He does, however, have some major hurdles ahead of him.
In order to survive Connelly needs surgery. Surgery that only a doctor located in Boston is qualified to perform. Connelly needs his entire airway reconstructed. His current airway is too small and he requires constant oxygen. As he is growing, his airway is not. Without this surgery, Connelly will not survive. The surgery has been changed from March to May due to the severe flu season. The surgery will be over 13 hours long which is extremely dangerous for anyone, but even more so for a child Connelly’s age. This will require a month long stay in the ICU at Boston Children’s Hospital followed by months in a recovery room.
Donations are needed to cover the costs of an SUV rental in order for them to drive to Boston. Due to his medical equipment and supplies he can not fly. His oxygen tanks take up A LOT of space and they need all of his multiple medical supplies and medications and machines for the ride. Due to his condition, he is unable to sit in one position for more than three hours as fluid can gather in his lungs so frequent stops are necessary, making the trip a long one. They will need multiple hotel stays along the drive from Atlanta to Boston, and a minimum of 3 months in a hotel in Boston, as there is no place in the hospital for them to stay while Connelly is recovering from surgery.
This family is so very important to me. Every donation, big and small, is necessary. I appreciate you reading this and watching Sweet Connelly’s video. Jeremy Garcia donated his time and great talent making the video to get word out about Connelly’s surgery and upcoming trip to Boston. We are so very grateful to him. Thank you, in advance, for any donation you can provide for Connelly and his moms. We also appreciate sharing this page and video to anyone you think could help this family out. We also appreciate your thoughts and prayers along Connelly’s journey. This is one incredible young man. He is happy, sweet, so loving, smart and such a joy to be around. Please, if there is anything you can contribute, I thank you.
- Tiffany Renfroe
- Meredith Owens
- Beverly Sturgill
Organizer and beneficiary
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