As a concerned mother and grandmother, I want to be proactive before everything crashes in my daughters lap. If there is one thing I can do at this very moment in time is to try & relieve a bit of her worry & stress regarding her current situation. Recently, my daughter Tiffinays unborn baby was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, his left side of his heart is under developed & will not work properly, there will be a problem with how the red blood & blue blood mix & how it's distributed to the brain & body. (Hypolastic Left Heart Syndrome, Double Outlet Right Ventricle, & a few other things). Right now the baby is healthy in utero, Tiffinay is giving him everything he needs through the umbilical cord; it's not till he is born, is when the problems begin. There is a special duct that will close when he takes his first breathe of life. In order to give this baby a chance at life, it's important that, this duct remains open to help with the surgery. Once he is born, medication will need to be administered to him immediately through IV, to keep duct open. He will be transported to Children's Hospital.
Originally Tiffinay was given 3 choices, terminate pregnancy, deliver baby with no intervention & provide comfort care (baby will pass in 3-4 days) or go through with surgery. Please understand, it's just not one surgery but a series. First open heart surgery will be performed in the first few days of life, all of this is dependent upon how strong his heart is when he is born. A second surgery will be done when he is around 6 months old and a third surgery when he is between the ages of 2-3 yrs old. (Surgery names: #1 Norwood, #2 Glenn, #3 Fontan) Keep in mind, surgeries are no guarantee for this sweet baby....it all depends how severe his condition is once he is here, how strong he is and if he's even able to survive the surgeries. These particular surgeries are very risky and have the potential of causing brain damage/injury since blood flow/oxygen will be stopped in order to operate on the heart. They tell us they work quickly to try & prevent that from occurring but there is no guarantee, every case is different & always a chance for complications. Eventually he may need a pacemaker or be placed on the heart transplant list. His in-hospital stay could be a minimum of 4 weeks up to a year, with hospital stays in between if he were to be released early. He may never know what it's like to suck a bottle because he may need to be on a feeding tube the first year of life.
As you can imagine, there is stress that comes along with this reality, along with some financial burden. Tiffinay does not have benefits with her job, therefore she will not receive a paycheck while out on maternity leave. She doesn't even know when she will be able to return to work. While caring for this child up the road, she will have to commute back & forth every few days because of her 2 yr old son Jaxon. Therefore she will have the travel expenses: food, gas, lodging....even if she is accepted & there is availability at the Ronald McDonald house, there are some fees with that. Since she will not have any income during this time, she still has adult financial responsibilities such as her car insurance, cell phone........after saying all this, who knows what the medical expenses will be or what special services this child may need to receive. I don't want her to worry how she is going to manage......I have no doubt that her friends & family will step in & help any way they can.
Levi is expected to arrive the 3rd-4th week of August. Tiffinay will have a scheduled induction. So I ask all of you reading this, first things first...prayers are free & I ask each & every one of you to please pray for Baby Levi, that he will survive & overcome this obstacle & be a thriving little boy that will have a long fun-filled life. Please pray for Tiffinay that she will have a successful delivery & speedy recovery so she can be with her baby quickly as possible. If you are able to donate, it will be much appreciated from the bottom of all of our hearts. We all thank you! Please help us, bring our baby Levi home!
- Katie Kortokrax
- Arin Winfrey
- Holly Fleshman
- Ann Rice
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