On September 21st, baby John Weast was delivered early at Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie, WY due to complications. Ashley had developed preeclampsia, a life threatening complication for Ashley and John if left untreated. For both John and Ashley's safety, Ashley had to be induced and John arrived earlier than expected.
While John's early arrival was medically necessary, John arrived with premature lungs. At first, John was put on oxygen for support, but shortly thereafter his lungs stopped functioning. John was in respiratory distress having episodes of rapid breathing, shortness of breath, and at times no breathing where he turned blue. He struggled for each breath he took.
Very quickly John had developed Infant Respiratory Distress Syndrome and needed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) care that could not be provided at Ivinson Memorial Hospital. John needed a Pediatric Critical Care specialist who could place him on a ventilator and a team that could oversee giving him medication to keep his lungs open. John was immediately sent in an air ambulance (Flight for Life) to get care from a Children's Hospital doctor and care team at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, CO. Neither Ashley nor Zach could join John on the flight so it was decided Zach would leave immediately and Ashley would follow with her mother after her discharge. They drove separately, 68 miles across the Wyoming/Colorado state line to Poudre Valley to be with John during this critical time.
Upon John’s arrival to the NICU, he was given emergent care where he was intubed, put on a ventilator and administered medications into his lungs. He was later put on a feeding tube and monitored continuously for progress. It was a terrifying and frightening experience for Ashley and Zach, but fortunately with around the clock medical care from multiple NICU doctors and nurses since September 22nd, alongside his parents the entire time, John has gotten stronger and he is doing much better! As of today, John is still receiving supportive oxygen therapy but is now eating on his own! Thankfully, John is going to be okay!
While John, Zach and Ashley will hopefully be leaving the NICU and going home very soon, John’s life-saving care will be costly. While Zach and Ashley fortunately have medical insurance, there are many out of pocket expenses such as deductibles and co-insurance that they will still be financially responsible for. Additionally, it is unknown at this time how much, if any their insurance will cover for John’s Flight for Life air ambulance. Unfortunately, insurance companies who offer air ambulance coverage often do not pay the entire cost, or any of the cost, and leave families financially responsible for payment, especially if the air ambulance is not in-network with the families insurance plan. Unfortunately today, a 50-mile air ambulance flight averages a cost of $12,000-$25,000.
While the exact amount of John’s medical expenses are unknown at this time, we know that Zach and Ashley will be financially responsible for a number of expenses. It is also likely they will be responsible for at least some portion of the air ambulance cost. Due to these high medical expenses, please kindly consider donating any amount towards John’s NICU care and air ambulance. Any donation will be greatly and forever appreciated!! And, if you are not in a position to donate but still want to help, your continued prayers, love and support is also appreciated and needed as John continues to recover. Thank you, SO much for any support you are able to offer baby John, Ashley, Zach and their daughters Lincoln (age 1) and Gracyn (age 5) during this difficult time.
DonationsSee top donations
- Brenda Whitman
- Kate Kniss
- Ashley Lang
- Mike & Maribel Herbst
- Nicole Lehning
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