Rachael and Daniel Satake are expecting a beautiful baby boy. Their unborn child will need multiple surgeries due to being diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). Thank you for your help and support. The Satake's story is below...

No one has ever met this little person. He hasn’t yet seen the world, hasn’t felt the sun, hasn’t marveled at his hands and feet, hasn’t accomplished anything (yet! …except for kicking his mama a whole bunch : ). But the fact that he isn’t yet born hasn’t lessened our family’s desire and commitment to give him the best life we can for as long as possible.

This little soul would not live more than a few days after birth without today’s medical technology, short of miraculous intervention. Sadly, he has been diagnosed with a congenital heart defect known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), which means that several features on the left side of his heart have not formed correctly and cannot pump blood to his body. While he is still in the womb, his oxygen is completely supplied for him. But once he is born, death would be inevitable without a series of at least three open heart surgeries. These can be performed by the skilled surgeons at Seattle Children’s Hospital, which is one of the best in the nation for treating this condition. Through these surgeries, his heart can be reconfigured to allow the right side to do the work of the whole heart, thereby giving him a chance to live.

HLHS cannot be cured: as ingenious as the planned surgical interventions are, living on half a heart (especially the right half) is not ideal and results in significant strain on the heart, as well as negative effects on other organs. A heart transplant may become necessary at any point, but is not a quick solution. Regular monitoring by specialists is important and there is always the possibility of another open heart surgery or his other organs failing. But with the procedures doctors have planned, people with even this condition can now live a fairly normal life and there are many success stories. Three major surgeries are typical: one occurs a few days after birth, the next between three and six months, and the third between three and six years of age.

We are fundraising because even with insurance the expenses are unbelievable. Our family will need to live away from home for significant and unknown lengths of time, traveling to and from home frequently. None of the doctors can say how complex or successful our son’s surgeries will be, or how many nights he might require at the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, or when we will be able to bring him home. If all goes well, he will need ongoing medications as well as frequent visits to specialists. We feel fortunate to live only a couple of hours away from some of the best care in the US, and to have the possibility of being able to stay with family for at least part of the time our little one is in the hospital.

During this first stage of fundraising we are asking for help with the costs we anticipate for the first calendar year. We are extremely grateful that Seattle Children’s Hospital will donate the bulk of the cost for at least the first surgery, and our baby will also be covered by insurance, so we are asking for help with the remaining expenses that will not be covered. We need help to pay for unreimbursed expenses during the first hospital stay (on average about a month, but it can be much longer), medications, and any special medical equipment we need. We also are asking for help with extra transportation and food costs. Should his second surgery or a portion of his second hospital stay take place after the end of 2016, there will be a new insurance deductible and out-of-pocket maximum, so some of the money may go towards that. Should we lose him, which would most likely happen during his first surgery or in the fragile months before his second surgery, some funds may go toward those arrangements, with any remaining money being donated to Seattle Children’s Hospital in honor of his memory and in gratitude for their care.

Thank you for your consideration. If you pray for us, if you donate financially, if you help get the word out, thank you for your time and sacrifice.

We all hope for a chance to get to know our little one, for a chance for you to meet him too, for the time to enjoy life with him, for the unknown contribution he will make to the world, and for your encouragement and the strength to give him our best.

--This little branch of the Satake family calls the beautiful northwest corner of Washington State home. Daniel works for a local company as an applications developer. His wife Rachael is a homemaker who loves giving her time to their first son, two-year-old Kai, and who hopes to be able to do the same for this baby. They strive to make Jesus Christ the center of their family and to serve him well in daily life.--
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Organizer and beneficiary

Gordon Neufeld
Bellingham, WA
Rachael Satake

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