Our tiny tin-man Grayson

Our dear friends, Carolyn and Darik, were expecting their first child on March 17th. On February 13th at 6:30pm, Carolyn was working on a client’s hair (she’s a self-employed hairstylist) when her water broke. Within minutes Carolyn and Darik were headed to the hospital. They were so excited but also shocked, as their baby wasn’t due for another five weeks! At the hospital the doctors confirmed that their son was positioned feet down and facing backwards, so Carolyn would need an emergency c section.

A few hours later Grayson James Whiddon was born at 9:15pm, weighting 4lbs and 3oz. Carolyn and Darik waited anxiously as the medical team thoroughly examined baby Grayson. The doctor called Darik over to let him know that their beautiful baby boy had some serious medical issues. Grayson James was born without a fully formed left ear and with a serious hole in his heart. Before Carolyn even had a chance to hold him, Grayson was rushed to Dell’s Children’s Hospital where he could be treated by top specialists. They quickly decided Darik should leave Carolyn and rush to be with their tiny new child. Carolyn anxiously awaited the 3 days to be released from the hospital, so she could join Darik at Grayson’s side. On February 16th Carolyn was finally able to hold her new son for the first time.

After 24 days in the NICU Grayson was finally released to go home, only to return 5 days later. He was having issues breathing and could not catch his breath. One more week in the hospital, and then a few days at home, and back again they went. The doctors assumed the issues were caused by his heart condition. Grayson had a VSD, a hole in the wall between the lower chambers of his heart, which was causing swelling in his left ventricle. On July 8th, at only 4 months of age, Grayson underwent open-heart surgery.

The surgery was a success and Grayson is finally thriving with his beautiful heart!

With one major challenge down, there are still several more to go. Since Grayson was premature he has a misshapen head, and will need to wear a helmet for several months. In addition Grayson needs a Baha Cochlear hearing aid to wear on a head band, so his brain can develop properly. Carolyn and Darik have dealt with these challenges with grace and strength, making hard decisions from the moment Grayson arrived. Being new parents, they sure have hit the ground running.

The medical costs for baby Grayson are astounding. Both Carolyn and Darik are hairstylists and self-employed. After little Grayson’s arrival, Carolyn took 12 weeks off of work and Darik missed 5 weeks to care for both Carolyn and Grayson. With an insurance deductible of $13,000, a hearing aid of $8,000, plus the never ending hospital bills, the Whiddon family is now in financial distress. With the deductible renewing at the first of the year, lots of specialist visits at $1,000 each and a $900 monthly payment to the hospital, the family has a long, expensive road ahead.

Through this process tons of people have come forward to express their concern and ask what they can do to help. Carolyn and Darik are never ones to ask for help, but with their permission a few friends have come together to create this GoFundMe campaign. Our page is a secure and safe way for friends/ family to help Carolyn and Darik in the form of financial relief.

We've set a goal of $38,000, which will provide relief for the immediate debt, cover the cost for the hearing aid, as well as some of next year’s deductible. Any funds raised over $38,000 will go towards next year’s medical expenses. There is no donation too large or small. Every penny counts , and we are forever grateful for any donations made.

As a "Thank You" we've designed some good looking rewards (t-shirts and totes) for your generous donations. The graphic was designed specifically for this fundraiser. The heart is Grayson and the two roses are Carolyn and Darik. If you look closely you can see a small G in the center of each rose. Give your family, friends and co-workers totes and t-shirts for Christmas. Consider it shopping for a cause.  When you click donate you will see the option to select a bag or tee.   Below that is the option to donate any amount. If you have any questions about how to donate, rewards etc, please reach out to us.  **Please note that all items will ship within 90 days after donation.**

For those who are unable to make a financial donation and would like to help, please share this fundraiser on Facebook, Twitter and email. If you know any media outlets, or are friends with Oprah or Ellen please share with them (:

We can’t thank you enough and are so excited to help this lovely family.

Much Love,

Sarah, Cameron and Autumn


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Autumn Stanford 
Austin, TX
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