Ella Rae Waechter

I have had the honor of knowing Matt and Jillian over the last twelve years, and have seen what wonderful parents they are to their son, Eli.  And now they are anxiously preparing for the arrival of their second child, a girl. Unfortunately, Baby girl Waechter has been diagnosed with a very rare and serious heart defect that will require a great deal of medical care.

When they first found out about the pregnancy I had offered to throw Jillian a baby shower, but now that they have more information about their baby's heart defect, their needs just seem to be so much larger than what a baby shower can provide.
So if you are interested in contributing to offset the many costs that will undoubtedly accrue after her birth,  then please consider making a donation of any size to this website. If you are unable to make a donation, that is completely understandable and acceptable as well. I would simply ask then that you read their story, keep them in your thoughts and your prayers, and think of another way that you can lift them up and be of encouragement as they anticipate the arrival of their sweet baby girl. Let's come together as a community and show the Waechter's how loved they truly are!
With Love,

Baby girl's story, as told by Jillian on December 27, 2017.
"Recently we were told that there were some discrepancies found in our 20 week ultrasound. We got the official diagnosis today that our baby girl has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, or HLHS. This is a rare heart defect that has to be taken care of by a series of 3 open heart surgeries. The first being within a week of birth. Of course there are no certainties but the surgeries have been successful in many cases but we will not know how severe hers is until we meet her. We met with pediatric cardiologists today to talk about the diagnosis and what the first surgery will look like. We will be given excellent care when baby girl arrives at Sutter hospital with surgeons from Stanford.
We were stunned when we first heard the news a couple weeks ago. Our expectations of what our lives were going to be like with a new baby were completely flipped upside down. I originally thought the hardest thing would be recovering from giving birth and Eli adapting to our new lives as a family of 4, but I quickly realized that is nothing compared to what we are going to go through in the first few months of our baby girl's life.
We have been stretched in ways we never imagined and our faith has grown exponentially in the last week since we were told about HLHS. We have been so thankful for the support given to us by our family, friends, and church. We still have hope that the Lord will heal her heart before she's born, but if not, we know His plans far exceed ours and that He will use our little girl's life to guide others to His saving grace.
This diagnosis is not a very happy one, but we find joy in the blessings God has given us and we are taking it all one day at a time. Please pray for our little girl and that God would use her in ways we'd never imagine and pray for peace and stength for us during this difficult time while we research more about HLHS. Our life as we know it will be completely different but we know that there is always hope."
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Organizer and beneficiary

Marinda Ettlin 
Penn Valley, CA
Jillian Waechter 
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