My sister Olivia was born Monday, Sept 15, 2014 at 7:44 p.m. My mother was prepped for an emergency c-section since the ultrasound showed that Olivia's arm was blocking her way out of the birth canal. Upon delivery, Olvia's right arm (humerus bone) was broken. A few hours later the doctors found out she was suffering from tracheoesophageal fistula, a form of *esophageal atresia. This means that her upper esophagus ended and did not connect with her lower esophagus and stomach. The lower esophagus connected to her windpipe instead. Without surgery, my sister would not be able to eat. During my mother's pregancy there were no indications of this birth defect. We were all distraught.
Once Olivia was stable, her arm was placed in a splint. She was scheduled for emergency surgery the very next day to repair her esophagus. The doctors felt her surgery was succesful since they were able to pair up the top and bottom portions of her esophagus.
Olivia has been in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive-Care Unit) recovering. She was placed on a feeding tube to provide her nutrition until she can try breast milk from a bottle. Every day we wait for the doctors updates and every day has been a small progression for her. I see that when my sister improves, so does my mother. My step-dad has been by mom's side, being the rock that she needs. My step-brother and I can't wait to take Olivia home. At this point, we don't know when that will be. Olivia will have to learn to swallow and drink like a normal baby before she will be released.
In the meantime, medical bills are about to come my parents way. Although they have health insurance, they were informed that medical bills will be in the tens of thousands since insurance does not cover everything. Olivia will also need follow up care with a specialist for a year to ensure her esophagus is keeping up with her growth and to make sure she does not run into any digestive issues down the road. My mom was even told to reconsider putting Olivia in daycare because she will be more susceptible to common childhood diseases. If exposed, battling any these can become fatal. With this news, my mom may now have to consider private care for the first 6 to 12 months of Olivia's life.
I want to help my mom and step-dad. My mother was a single parent when she had me. She raised me while she struggled to finish college and start her career. She did the best she could for me. And I want to do what I can for her. Please help me, help my sister with her cost of care.
A percentage raised will be donated to the hospital where my mom and sister received care. Along with a donation in all donors' names to the March of Dimes.
(I have decided to keep the name of the hospital private at this time since Olivia is still there receiving care.)
*Below is an explanation of esophageal atresia.
(Olivia holding my mom's finger)
(Olivia smiling for mom and dad)
(Olivia loves her pacifier)
(Loving those beautiful big eyes)
Us on my mom's wedding day, November 10, 2013.
(L-R) Me (Tristan), my mom (Tamara), my step-dad (Rick) and my step-brother (Tre). My mom became pregnant with Olivia two months later.
Olivia is off of her feeding tube! The doctors are now giving her breast milk from a bottle. THIS IS A BIG MILESTONE! She's on her way friends! Thank you for your prayers and support!
My mom was finally able to hold Olivia and feed her. My mom has only held Olivia once ... minutes after she was born.
This was the first time my step-dad Rick has held Olivia.
*** ANOTHER UPDATE ***
There's no place like home ...
Olivia taking a nap at home (It's been a rough two weeks).
The next phase of her care begins. Your blessings and support have helped us come this far. Olivia is on her road to being a happy and healthy little girl. Continue to keep her in your thoughts.
Those who have donated $50 or more will receive an update from my mom via email by the first week of Nov.
Those who have donated $100 or more will receive a holiday card from the family with an update in Dec.
We will keep everyone updated on Olivia's progress when she hits a milestone.
- Melanie Gutierrez
- Kadar Dennis
- Helene & Kevin Lieb
- Anahi Villalon
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