Kaeli Strong

On October 1st my wife and I found out we were expecting our first child and to say we were excited is an understatement. We have been married for two years and we were told that it was going to be hard to conceive at first, but we surprisingly found out we were pregnant. All the excitement from telling our families and friends was absolutely incredible. We had our 20 week ultrasound appointment and the baby was definitely stubborn when it came to cooperating for pictures. We found out the gender but didn’t know until our reveal party with egg roulette. Eventually I smashed the pink egg all over myself and we found out that were having a little girl and the tears of joy began to flow. A week passed and our excitement was still there, we had a second ultrasound which showed some red flags to our OB doctor. He ended up referring us to St. Luke’s in Cedar Rapids to the pediatric cardiologist. We spent 3 hours with the team down there. I knew something was up when they led us to the conference room. That is where we first learned that our little girl has a heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot with Pulmonary Atresia. We were shocked and heart broken with emotions all over the place. We were then referred to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital to meet with our team of doctors. On March 1st we met with our team and we found out the details of her condition. Her pulmonary artery hasn’t formed the way it should and she has a hole in her heart that will require surgery.
We met with our new Pediatric Cardiologist and that was a very difficult meeting, we learned that our daughter will need significant medical help right away. Nicole will deliver her in Iowa City where she will be put in the NICU right away and she will need to have a shunt put in her heart within the first week of her life to help reroute the blood flow in her heart to allow her to grow. She will then be in the PICU for at least a month to allow her to heal. She will then need open heart surgery within the first 4-8 months of her life to repair her little heart. Nicole and I (as well as our family) will be with her every step of the way. We are asking for some help to off-set the costs of missing work, traveling, room stays and medical expenses for our daughter. We are truly blessed by this little girl and we know that she’s a fighter. We appreciate all of our friends and family so much. Your prayers, love and support mean the world to our family.

With Love
Andy, Nicole and Baby Kaeli 
28187490_1520301[phone redacted]_funddescription


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Andrew Paul Knapp 
Cedar Falls, IA
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