(Central FL) Baby Leiah Treatment

Baby Leiah Treatment Recovery Fund (Central Florida)

Diagnosis: Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

                 (deprivation of blood or oxygen)

Hi my name is Simona Lopez, the organizer for the campaign: (central Florida) Baby Leiah Treatment. Leiah Marie Sierra is my newborn niece. She is in Central Florida where I myself am from but currently reside in South Florida. Israel Sierra is my step-brother and the father to Baby Leiah.

I want to thank you in advance for taking the time to read their story and let you know what the funds will be used towards. Baby Leiah will be enduring indefinite treatment and testing for her cognitive and physical well being. Doctors will need to regularly check to see if any damage occurred while being oxygen deprived in the first few moments of her life. I ask anyone who reads this to please share my family’s story and please send prayers and support. The Sierras will attempt to send updates whenever they can when they’re not so overwhelmed with all that’s happened. So please be patient for updates and personal thank you’s.

Leiah Marie Sierra was born at 8:46am on Monday, September 10, 2017 she weighed 7lbs 11oz and measured 18.11 in.  Baby Leiah was born by emergency C-Section on the day Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida.  

It all started as a wonderful pregnancy for Amanda Moreno and Israel Sierra.  After seven years of trying to have a baby and three miscarriages, both were blessed with the gift of life once again.  Her due date was for September 3rd 2017.  Now comes the menace of Irma a category 5 hurricane to hit Florida on 9/10/17, and the baby was still not born.  Both pleaded to Florida Hospital Celebration to admit them so their baby would be born safely. Their main concern was that labor would begin right in the middle of a state of emergency.  County authorities had advised, once winds were over 55 mph, there would be no emergency vehicles allowed on the roads.  After two failed attempts, Florida Hospital Celebration admitted her on September 9th, 2017.

After 24 hours of what we would call textbook labor, the last three pushes took a horrible turn, the monitors alarmed the baby was in distress, doctors and nurses advised they had to do an emergency C-section and there was no time to spare.  They took mommy and daddy to the operation room,  by then there was no time for local anesthesia, so general anesthesia had to be administered.  As a result, Israel was hurried out of the operation room.

After two hours in the waiting room without any updates, the nurse came out to inform Israel that the Chaplain would be out soon to talk with him.  Our hearts dropped with the sudden news and the wait was unbearable.  The Chaplain delivered preliminary findings to Israel and updated him about baby Leiah’s critical condition without details.

On the 3rd hour Israel was taken to his fiancee and informed of Amanda’s critical condition. Then medical personnel rushed Israel to baby Leiah’s side and informed him of her critical condition. Beyond distraught, what started as the main event of their life has turned into the nightmare of their life.

This began the 23 mile journey to Florida Hospital South, Orlando, in and ambulance, under the Hurricane strength winds.

After Israel was informed of all the circumstances, the doctor came to us , Israel’s mother and Amanda’s mother and gave us this information:

At this point, Monitors alarmed that the baby was in distress, medical personnel immediately let us know an emergency C-Section was necessary.  During the procedure, the doctor observed that the placenta was detached from the uterus, creating a hole in the uterus which was also causing Amanda to bleed out--we later found out this injury is known as an “Abruption of the Placenta”.  Once this occurred baby Leiah’s oxygen supply was severed.  She had to immediately be resuscitated, once resuscitated, she had a prolonged seizure.  She was intubated two minutes after her birth.  Doctors started a procedure to cool the body to 92 degrees to stop any further damage to the brain, Florida Hospital South was called in to transport baby Leiah to the NICU at Florida Hospital South in Orlando.  We were advised if this treatment is started within 6 hrs of birth there is evidence it may help to reduce brain damage.   

Emergency airlift was no longer an option for the baby due to the hurricanes increased winds, she had no choice but to be transported by ambulance to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at FLORIDA HOSPITAL SOUTH (Orlando), one-hour away from her Mommy who was in Celebration Hospital.  

In an attempt to reduce brain injury, Baby Leiah continued through intense treatment of induced hypothermia for 72 hours followed with ten hours of rewarming. Medications included: Fentanyl so baby did not suffer any pain during the lower temperature treatments of 92 degrees, Seizure Meds, and frozen plasma transfusions.  They wrapped her head with the cooling equipment and they included 18 electrodes of an EEG to monitor seizures and brain activity, still intubated for life support, intravenous drips for nutrition, a feeding tube and other meds.

While baby was fighting for her life, Mommy was an hr away fighting for hers.  Amanda, was undergoing surgery, for rupture of the uterus, she almost bled out, and her lungs collapsed, she had to be given four blood transfusions.  As of today, she is still in ICU and has only been able to see baby Leiah through pictures.

Baby’s Medical Plan: informed of the long road ahead of MRI’s, EEG’S, all kinds of therapies, motor skills, speech etc, feeding. Prognosis, only time will tell and will be measured in milestones.

Just a little background information about the parents:

Israel has worked for for Walt Disney for eight years and Amanda for the Hilton for four years.  They prepared for this huge milestone in their life; bought a bigger car, went from a one-bedroom apartment to a two-bedroom so Baby Leiah would have her own room, clothes, decorations…...

Nothing could prepare them for the unforeseen….we pray that with your prayers, positive thoughts and support we can make a difference.

Together we can help this young family.  Israel, Amanda and Baby Leiah will forever be grateful for your generosity.  Thank you and May God Bless You!
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Organizer and beneficiary

Simona Lee 
Doral, FL
Israel Sierra 
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