Help Lynden Get to Boston!

My nephew Lynden is 19 months old now.

When my sister, Jessica Smith, was 32 weeks pregnant with him, her doctors discovered he had a rare congenital birth defect called Esophageal Atresia. 

Esophageal Atresia is where the Esophagus does not form properly or completely with a gap missing not allowing food to pass to his stomach. Unfortunately 86% of babies who have this also have a condition called Tracheoesophageal fistula which is where the baby's Trachea does not properly if at all connect to the baby's windpipe; Lynden had BOTH.

Lynden was born at Duke Hospital thanks to donation efforts to move his family near the hospital, so the best care was available to them when he was born. Lynden Pierre Mitchell was born 4 weeks premature on June 14th, 2016, 7 lbs 9 oz 23.75" long.

Since then, Lynden has had 20+ surgeries (corrective & emergency) He has spent most of his life in the hospital, majority of that being in the ICU. The longest little Lynden has not been in the hospital is a 2 month span.

He has a permanent Gtube & Jtube placed, as he is unable to eat by mouth and must be fed through tubes (his whole life). He has suffered through RSV, Rhinovirus and pneumonia more times than we can count.

On August 23rd, 2017 Lynden fought the biggest battle yet, his intestines were accidentally ruptured during a procedure to place his Jtube. As a result of this, he contracted Sepsis and it almost claimed his life. Our little fighter and the merciful Lord overcame! He eventually was able to come home. It was short lived though, he soon got another virus that sent him back to the hospital, always with sever difficulties breathing.

Lynden is currently in the hospital admitted to the NICU at CMC Levine’s Children’s Hospital, in Charlotte, Nc. He has his most common illness, Viral Pneumonia. He is currently heavily sedated and intubated due to his inability to breathe on his own.

Lynden’s mother, father, brother and sister struggle while he is in the hospital. The siblings are not allowed in the NICU, so they are displaced with family/friends, or one parent must stay at home with them while the other parent stays at the hospital with Lynden. The siblings are school aged and must attend school, and complete homework during the week.

Lynden’s dad works night shifts. Lynden’s mom works morning shift. The family has one vehicle. It is very difficult for them to make ends meet with their little one in the hospital. Having to maintain their jobs, to provide shelter, food, and care for their other children; as well as being present for Lynden in the hospital!

This gofundme is set up with 2 goals in mind for this beautiful, loving, and very humble family. The short term goal for this gofundme account is to help with immediate financial shortcomings: Bills, gas, food, etc. Long term this gofundme is set in place to get Lynden to Boston Children’s Hospital. Boston Children’s Hospital is the most experienced with Lynden’s EA & FA conditions. Part of the reason Lynden is always sick with pneumonia is his original birth defect.

When Lynden gets a cold he is unable to cough up anything that may be in his chest, this results in a buildup of fluid that can even harden over time and must be ‘beaten’ out of his chest. Boston has a procedure that may be able to help it is called Tracheopexy; which is when doctors basically create and artificial trachea for the patient to avoid Tracheomalacia, which is when the trachea  cartilage is too soft to hold open the patients airways, and frequently collapses.

Boston Children’s Hospitals doctors have agreed to see Lynden… IF WE CAN GET HIM THERE!! The first initial steps would require getting him there. This means we need to cover travel expenses! The screening process will take 3 days (one as an inpatient, 2 as an outpatient) so we need to cover housing, and then food while there as well. It is still unclear at the moment if insurance will cover the surgery or how much it will cost if they will not cover the surgery; but first we have to get a doctors approval that he is even a candidate for the procedure.

I know this is a lot. If you have made it this far through my nephew’s story I want to thank you. Please know and understand we want nothing more than the best quality of life for my nephew. He has faced unimaginable things in his young life. He has not been able to eat by mouth, anything in his entire life! He has spent most of his life in the hospital, and when home he still has tubes hooked to him for feedings and medication administration, and requires breathing treatments. Doctors said he would probably never walk, they were wrong. They say he may never eat by mouth; we want to prove that wrong too.

The care he is receiving here is not of the standards needed for him to actually have a fighting chance to be able to live a normal life. The only chance my nephew has to getting to a semi healthy state of life with the chance of being able to eat, is to get to Boston and receive care from the doctors who WROTE THE BOOK on his RARE disorder. Our local hospital is not equipped for this, and just treating my nephew’s symptoms is not getting him anywhere!

If you had a leaking water pipe would you keep mopping up the water all your life, or fix the broken pipe?!?!? My nephews WINDPIPE is broken, my baby cannot BREATHE, they don’t want to fix the problem, they just want to treat the symptoms and we are tired of that being ‘good enough’.

If you can find it in your heart to donate, thank you thank you thank you from the bottom of our hearts THANK YOU. If you cannot financially help, PLEASE please please SHARE this, it only takes a second, and we need all the help we can get. No donation is too small, and all are appreciated. All will be donated to my sister to benefit the care goals of my nephew Lynden.

We also appreciate all thoughts, concerns, and prayers. We thank the Lord for the time we have had with Lynden and humbly pray that we will forever have him to hold and cherish.  But we know that his quality of life solely depends on proactively advocating for him by demanding he receive the top quality care for his specific condition, not his symptoms.

Thank you all, God bless.

#TeamLynden #LyndenStrong


  • Erika Kelly 
    • $50 
    • 26 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 26 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 27 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 27 mos
  • Tracey Collins 
    • $20 
    • 27 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Stevie Lee Jinez 
Charlotte, NC
Jessica Smith 
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