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Joseph Peace Dussault Memorial Fund

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A little heart needs help!

We are expecting our 5th child due June 10th, 2015. While my belly continues to grow, so does our anticipation to meet this newest member of the family. I have been carrying our child with great vigilance and care through this winter spent in Crested Butte, CO. All of my prenatal check-ups had been perfect and the life within me growing as usual or so we thought...

This all changed at an ultrasound on March 19th when doctors diagnosed our baby with a rare congenital (present at birth) heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). HLHS is one of the most complex cardiac defects seen in newborn babies and remains the most challenging to manage of all congenital heart defects. It presents itself in about 1 in every 6,000 births.

Our Baby Peace (in utero name) will not survive after birth unless a series of major heart surgeries are performed at Children's in Aurora, CO 5 hours from home. If our baby can make it through the first procedure it will have a very good chance of doing well through subsequent operations.

Baby Peace is struggling to gain weight as the flow through the Umbilical Artery keeps fluctuating. While each appointment bears its load of good and bad news, one theme remains, keep baby growing! I am now bed resting and testing every 4th day, watching the flow of the cord, tracking heart dopplers and growth.

Our surgeons have given us the possibility of trying a Valvuloplasty. From there they would hope to relieve the Left Ventricle and see if we can minimize the backward flow of blood through baby's Mitral Valve, which actually has correct structure, but a sickened function.

From here they would consider a "hybrid surgery" where in they would band off the Pulmonary Arteries and create a new stint leaving baby's Ductus Arteriosus (open in womb during pregnancy) permanently open. This is similar, yet different from what would have been baby's originally Stage 1 of open heart surgery. This brings some measure of hope provided baby can grow to meet the new surgical threshold of 1500 grams (3lbs. 3oz.) Baby is currently around 1100 grams (2lbs. 10oz.).

There's no doubt that this is a test of our love, marriage and family life. It will take a lot of prayer and support to pull through this in a way that strengthens us. It will be only with God's grace that we move forward and tackle each hurdle. We realize that we are not alone in our suffering and many are currently struggling even worse than us. That helps keep things in their proper prospective!

Not knowing how long baby will be in the hospital receiving intervention 5 hours from home with the need to be closely followed leaves us in a bit of a quandary. Also, supporting the family finically becomes a greater challenge while Sharbel will be largely single parenting our other 4 children ages 13,8,4, and 2.

As most of us have experienced some hardship or are close to someone who has. The most common phrase uttered upon hearing bad news is,"please let us know how we can help or let me know if there is anything that I can do." Most of the time that offering and willingness to help goes unused and sometimes those in need feel awkward asking for help. We also know how good it feels when we have been asked to help or have done an act of kindness for someone in need. That said, here's a way you can help.

This GoFundMe crowd funding account has been set-up to help with travel expenses back and forth, housing expenses for our time in Denver, miscellaneous medical expenses not covered by insurance and a little cushion to tap into to help us get through this challenging time and it's many unforeseen expenses.

May God bless you and be a comfort to you in your challenges as well.

With all our Iove,
Baby Peace

To send donations directly by check please mail to:

Rebecca Dussault
PO Box 665
Gunnison, CO 81230


Sharbel Dussault
Crested Butte, CO

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