Stories, everyone has one. Some stories inspire us to be more than we are or to strive to achieve great things. Other stories cause us to feel anger or sadness.
Hazel's story if heard may cause all of those emotions in some people. But my one wish is that her story inspires hope.
Hazel Grace was born July in 2015. My husband and I were so happy to have her because we had 3 miscarriages before she 'stuck' and made it to full term.
When Hazel was under a month old I could tell something was wrong.
She never smiled or even seemed to be 'present', almost like she was lost in a fog. She had zero head control and it didn't seem to be improving over time. She slept and ate most of the time there was little room for playing or trying to stimulate her mentally. And when she was awake she didn't respond much to anything.
When I told our family doctor about my concerns he assured me she was 'fine' and 'well within the normal spectrum for head control and muscle tone'. But time kept passing and Hazel never improved.
It wasn't until she was about 4-5 months old that our family doctor FINALLY admitted her head control was not within the 'normal range' and that we might consider taking her to other doctors to figure out if perhaps she was autistic.
We found a doctor in Ashland who right away suggested getting an x-ray on her neck to see if there was something in fact wrong with her spine that could be causing the lack of control.
So we received the results of her x ray and found a slight 'kink' in her neck which was suggested to us that perhaps during labor her head could have compacted her neck if she had been facing upward when coming out.
Regardless, this minor problem doesn't cause the issues Hazel was facing.
By this time she was about 10 months old when our doctor thought perhaps it is a heavy metal toxicity that could be affecting her neurological development.
So we sent a hair sample off to the lab and waited.
About a month before her 1st birthday, we received the results. ..The scanned image of her results can be found here on her campaign page.
She was toxic with several heavy metals. But the two most concerning (at least to me and my husband) were Uranium and Thorium.
Uranium and Thorium are 'radioactive' elements that can be found in artillery shells of missiles used during the conflict in Iraq.
Another metal she had an alarming level of was lead. Lead has already been known to be in the water and soil at a base in southern Baghdad known as 'Taji'.
Joint Base Balad was another post in Iraq that me and my husband frequented whilst on convoy missions from Talil AFB.
My husband deployed with the Marines in 2[phone redacted], in what we referred to as the 'initial wave'. His MOS was an antitank missileman and he engaged the enemy on several occasions and shot many missiles at enemy tanks.
He later deployed again with the Army from 2[phone redacted], the same tour I went on. We both did convoy escort and traveled all around the southern Baghdad area for that entire tour.
Our family has been unable to take Hazel to hospitals or clinics that may have specialists and doctors needed to help evaluate, diagnose and treat her. And link her toxicity to our exposure.
Not until February of this year did we have the means of getting an RV in order to comfortably transport Hazel long distances. Now, we are free to move about the country and go wherever she may need to go.
We filed a claim for compensation from the VA for Hazel's injuries. Because, obviously, uranium and thorium can only be in her because of our exposures while in Iraq.
But the VA wants PROOF that I or my husband were exposed....but how? Do they think we took selfies with uranium missiles while on tour? How can we prove that? The answer is we can't.
We need doctors to prove it. Specialists. People in the know about radiation exposure and toxicity. How it can be passed from parent to child.
This is a fight that has only just begun. A fight I will die before I give up on. I went to a war to fight for a cause that was not my own. Put myself in harms way for no reason. Only to come home and destroy my child's entire life and future because of a decision I made to serve.
My baby is sick because of me. She is in pain and suffers daily. She can't sit up unsupported. She can't stand or speak. Only in the last 6 months or so can she even hold her head up adequately on her own. My baby suffers because of me. I gave her the worst parts inside me, not the best. And it just isn't fair.
Hazel deserves justice. She deserves the best chance she has at any type of quality of life.
So we need to go to hospitals in Texas, or St. Jude's, or ANYWHERE to get her the help she needs to evaluate her and find the cause of her abnormal toxicity.
Then if we raise enough funds we will be traveling to La Ceiba, Honduras to the 'Usha Village' to cleanse her to a cellular level....it won't be an over-night fix. And she won't come out of there skipping and talking..but she will finally be clean of ALL of the toxins that have been a part of her since before birth. It isn't a miracle fix...but it is her best shot at getting the best quality of life that she can. If you want to learn more..search 'Dr. Sebi Usha Village' and read who Dr. Sebi was and all of the illnesses he has cured.
We need all the help we can get to stand up for Hazel and ALL the sick babies being born to Iraqi Freedom campaign veterans. Stand up for Hazel because she can not. Speak out for her because she has no words.
Thank you for taking the time to hear Hazel's story.
- Jacob Ayala
- Kenny Taylor
- jorge segui
- Meadow Carlson
- Laura Hutchings
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