Hi, my name is Brittney Wescamillo. If you know me, you know that my now 21 month-old son, Milo, was born with a congenital heart defect and had to have a heart transplant at only four months old. After Milo came home from the hospital, we wrote a letter of gratitude to the donor family and gave it to the transplant coordinator at UCLA Ronald Reagan Children's Hospital to deliver to them. We were told that the letter got to them, but we were not given any information about the donor family, and we weren't sure if we would ever hear back from them. Then, on the one-year anniversary of Milo's heart transplant surgery, the donor family contacted us through Facebook. We were so happy to know that they received our letter and we again expressed our sincere condolences for their loss and our profound gratitude that they chose to donate their baby's organs, and how their baby's heart saved our baby's life. We have been communicating little by little with the family since July, and just recently learned the story about their son's death. It took them awhile to become comfortable talking about it since it was such a devastating loss. As soon as we learned the full story about what happened and the hardships the family has had to endure, we immediately felt compelled to help.
The family has requested to remain anonymous, but I will refer to the baby as "TDC." TDC's mother explained to me that she and her husband had left TDC and his siblings with a babysitter while they went to help a friend with something when they got a call that the baby had stopped breathing. When they got home, an ambulance was there and had been performing CPR for some time. By the time they got to the hospital, the doctors said that things didn't look good.
"It was strange...I never believed you could die of a broken heart, but in that moment...my heart hurt to the point I could physically feel it ripping in half."
An investigator came in and did an investigation and saw no evidence of foul play. The doctors determined that it was an episode of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). When the hospital asked if the family wanted to donate TDC's organs, "Honestly, it took a lot of us talking and debating for us to agree to it. We figured my son deserved to be a hero. He was such a sweet baby and something about him helping another baby made us feel good."
Unfortunately, even though no signs of foul play were discovered by the investigator and the parents were not even home at the time of the incident, CPS got involved and took the couple's three other children out of their custody until an autopsy could be performed. Because of Covid, the autopsy took two months!! Imagine, if you will, having just lost your son to SIDS, having just made the difficult decision to donate his organs, having an investigator come into your home and invade your privacy to disprove any evidence of foul play, and THEN having your other children taken away from you by Child Protective Services in your darkest time of grieving, and at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic for no reason at all! I find that to be completely cruel and unnecessary. I thought our family went through a lot in 2020 with Milo, but I honestly don't know how this family survived.
So now the family is back together again, but they are still stuck in the same one bedroom apartment where they lost their son. They have three kids and another due in February (hooray!!) and only one parent is able to work now, so they have a very limited income.
Our goal is to help this family move out of the apartment where this horrible tragedy occurred and make a new start in 2022 with their new baby.
Please, on Milo's behalf, we urge you to donate any amount to help this amazing family. We humbly thank you for your support!