Millie's ear reconstruction surgery

Please help Millie hear!
Millie is a sweet, caring, intelligent 5 year old with a gentle nature and beautiful smile. Her father and I give her everything possible with love, but there are a few things we can't give her:
- better hearing
- restoration of her ear
- flawless speech
- ease from seizures

We would appreciate your help with the first three of these problems.

Millie was born with a rare condition called Hemifacial Microsomia complicated by speech apraxia. She needs two surgeries that will restore 85% or more of her hearing in her ear. Unfortunately we switched health insurance three months back and
the new insurance company calls the surgeries "cosmetic" and refuses to cover these critical surgeries. Please help!

The first surgery costs $14,600 for the first and we have to provide at least 20% up front before the surgery can happen.

Despite giving her all the care I could in the womb and making healthy choices during our pregnancy, we had complications that stopped blood flow to her ears during a critical part of the development. She lost hearing and development of her one ear and is deaf in that ear. She also developed speech apraxia, which means her brain is unable to transmit the word she wanted to say to her mouth. She is bright and has comprehension of words above her
age group, but she can't transmit the words to speech. With her added hearing difficulties, speech is huge struggle for Millie.

Safety is a huge concern for her father and Me. Millie cannot detect the direction of sound. If we are taking a walk and a car comes down the road, Millie has no sense as to where that sound is coming from. The dangers of parking lots, streets, and high traffic areas are such a danger to her safety. Then there is the every day activities that are a constant struggle as well.

She needs two surgeries to restore her hearing. The first of two surgeries is the most extensive. Two different physicians will work on her ear. One, working on the outer ear, will cut and release her ear from it's cone shaped form and pin it back. Millie also does not have a complete ear canal. They will create one by using a skin graft from her inner thigh. This will then allow the second Doctor to see into the middle ear. The middle ear has 3 bones responsible for hearing, the arm, hammer, and anvil. These bones are tiny, but as sound travels through them they move. Millie's middle ear has all three bones, but they are fused together. The second Doctor will then allow them to move freely.

My husband had to switch jobs three months back and his new insurance company will not cover these procedures. I started my own bakery business this last year and don't have separate health insurance. As her parents we strive and work as hard
as we can to provide a safe and happy home for both our children.  Both of us make ends meet for our children, but we don't have the more than $15,000 for the surgeries.

The insurance companies labels the surgeries as "cosmetic". This is why we are asking for your help. We love our daughter and think she is beautiful just the way God made her. She was a special blessing to us from the moment we new she existed.
She is an incredible fighter who overcame tremendous challenges to be our miracle child and sweet baby girl. We are very aware as to her physical differences and the problems that will arise in the area of the appearance of her outer ear. Sadly Millie and I have already had to deal with multiple occasions in her short 5 years of life where children and grown adults were harsh and cruel when noticing her appearance. We want her to not have to deal with that cruelty and not worry if our little girl will be teased to tears becuase of a malformation she could not help or
control. This is not a character flaw or clothing she can change. We do want to give her two "normal" ears, but our primary concern is for her hearing.

I encourage you to try to know Millie. Try to see how much she will grow and thrive from these surgeries. How wonderful her outcome will be when she will be able to hear, speak, and interact in public, without any concerns or issues for the first time!

I will gladly update each and every one of you as to how the process will go. As of now we are to have a pre-opp consultation January 5th in Charleston SC. This is the same location as her main surgeries which should take place the end of May. This appoinment in January will determine the set surgery day, and everything else concerning the
medical costs. If God works a miracle and reduces these costs we will give the money to St Jude's or any other charity you specify, but they won't see her unless we can prove financial abilities we don't have.

Thank you so much for reading this! Thank you for even taking the time to think about our Millie. She is such a precious gift to us, and thank you for whatever gift you gave, it has gone towards her ability to finally hear!
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Jessica LaBombard 
Greenville, SC
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