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Colton’s Medical Journey

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Colton was born on May 2, 2018. Since he was born he has been a warrior battling different health issues that have arose. We are raising money for his hospital and medical expenses. Three days after Colton was born he was transferred by ambulance to Doctor’s Medical Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Modesto, CA. He stayed at the NICU for six days and was able to be discharged. Four days later Colton needed to go to the Sonora Adventist Health Emergency Room due to respiratory difficulties. From the ER he was flown by helicopter to UC Davis Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Center. Once at UC Davis he stayed for ten days and had numerous tests done. We are incredibly thankful for the amazing medical treatment that Colton has had and incredibly proud of how strong our son is. He has had a smile on his face throughout this unbelievable journey. Below is more about this amazing little man’s  journey that has occurred over the last month. 
Before being born Colton became breech at around 36 weeks. Because of being breech he needed to be delivered via c-section. The morning of the scheduled c-section he began having difficulties with his heart rate dropping. Soon after this was discovered the surgery began and he was born. He weighed 5 pounds 14.2 ounces which surprised the doctor and us (parents) due to expecting a much larger baby. Due to his positioning in the womb when he was delivered he had bruising. Immediately after being born he was rushed out of the delivery room to be provided extra support for breathing and low blood sugar levels. Over the next three days he was treated at the birth center and struggled with having his blood sugar levels stabilize. During this time he struggled to have enough energy to eat or even open his eyes. His skin was very dark and had poor circulation as well. He needed to use an IV to help balance his sugar levels and it was a struggle to get blood samples because of his blood being so thick. His blood sugar levels began to improve after the first couple days. On the third day he also began having breathing difficulties and the pediatrician explained she did not know what was wrong with him. He was then transferred to Doctor’s Medical Center NICU with little notice. We were suddenly told after finding out that his sugar levels were improving that Colton needed to be transferred to a higher level care because he was no longer breathing consistently independently. The transport team came with in an hour of us being told the news of the transfer and we were not allowed to ride in the ambulance with him due to an entire transport team being needed to provide enough support for him. After being admitted at the NICU the medical team was perplexed by the array of medical complications that Colton was experiencing. After many tests it was discovered that he was battling a severe case of jaundice possibly due to his low birth weight, having different blood type than his mother, extra blood in his system, and thick blood. Since his blood was so thick and abundant his body struggled to process the belirubin out of his system effectively. While at this NICU he had phototherapy to treat the jaundice and utilized an IV to address blood sugar issues. He was able to be discharged once his blood sugars were stable independently and jaundice levels decreased to a safe level so we could treat at home. 
Once home our journey did not end. His jaundice level dramatically increased to 0.01 away from being at a critical level needing immediate hospitalization. While treating the jaundice at home a separate issue arose. On Tuesday 5/15 Colton vomited at home and began having a response that appeared to be similar to a seizure. He was struggling to breathe, had his jaw locked while saliva bubbles dripped from his lips, eyes wide without blinking, and legs/arms flailing. Immediately we ran to our car and drove to the local hospital’s ER. While in the car Colton’s skin began changing color becoming purple/blue and he stopped breathing. While my husband drove I (mother) performed CPR on him until we got to the hospital and was relieved when he would try to move his arms slightly and let out small cries every now and then. Once at the ER the doctors quickly decided that he needed a higher level of care and explained that he was now beyond the Doctor’s Medical Center NICU’s care that we had just been discharged from. Colton was needing full assistance for breathing in the ER and due to previously having so many IVs the medical team struggled to find a vein that could be used for a current IV. Because of this the doctor put an IO in his leg (drilled a hole in his bone marrow to gain access for intravenous fluids to be delivered). X-rays were completed and it was suggested that he aspirated on his vomit and other complications may have occurred. The transport team from UC Davis Children’s Hospital arrived and flew Colton by helicopter to their NICU. Once again due to their being an entire team for transport we were not allowed to travel with him during the transfer. 
At the UC Davis NICU the medical team explained that they were also very perplexed about what was occurring. They completed numerous tests over the next week to try and determine what was happening. These tests included various blood work, urine samples, a lumbar puncture, an EEG, and other seizure monitoring. All his tests continued to come back negative which led the doctors to become extremely confused. Many specialists were consulted including genetics, endocrinology, neurology, and a nutritionist. Eventually Colton stabilized overall but continued to struggle with his blood sugar levels which were very low. Once his sugar levels stabilized to a safe level he was able to be discharged and treated through outpatient. We were so excited to finally go home. We made it almost half way there when we received a phone call from the UC Davis NICU. The test result for his cortisol level which was going to be evaluated in the outpatient appt came back and was critical. We were told we needed to bring him back immediately because his cortisol level was extremely low and the doctors feared his adrenals were not working properly. The doctors additionally explained that they are unsure if his body is able to handle stress and if his adrenals do not function properly it can be fatal. We drove back to the NICU stunned at the turn of events. The doctors completed a test to evaluate how Colton’s adrenals were functioning and he was immediately put on the medication for adrenal insufficiency to be proactive in case his body needed the additional cortisol. The results again came back negative.
We were discharged again with out a full explanation as to what was wrong or had happened. The best explanation is that due to the severe jaundice and his low birth weight Colton’s body struggled to have enough glucose reserves for his body to properly function. He also had a separate issue of possibly having a minor infection and then aspirating on his vomit which blocked his airway. Although he has had many doctors and specialists perplexed at his condition we are extremely thankful for him to be overall okay. He is truly a fighter and we are so proud of him. 
We are hoping that with this gofundme page we can raise money to go towards covering medical bills and lodging that was needed while Colton was in the hospital.


  • Amber Schoepp
    • $200 
    • 6 yrs


Nicole Friend-Dorner
Sonora, CA

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