Born on October 17, 2009
1lb. 10in. at 23 weeks and 3 days
My nephew and niece were not due until February. On October 13th, 2009 they were just about 23 weeks old and their mother, Julie, went into pre-term labor. With the help of many AMAZING doctors and much prayer, she was able to delay their birthday by an additional four days to help them grow in the womb.
Early in the morning on Saturday, October 17th, Julie was rushed into the operating room with my brother, Daniel, by her side. My niece, Deborah Jean, was born at 4:37AM and my nephew, Josh, was born two minutes later. They didn’t cry because they were so little…only 1lb 1oz each.
My niece, Deborah Jean, was only alive for eight hours.
As for Josh, he made it past the first 72 hours, which are the most critical. Eight years later, you would never know the numerous doctor visits, hospital visits & emergencies he had endured since birth by looking at him today. Josh has faced many challenges & conquered many mountains along the way: developing a sucking reflex, learning how to use his tongue, breathing room air (without the help of oxygen support), 12 blood transfusions, chest tubes, being intubated, graduating from speech therapy, occupational therapy, developmental therapy, physical therapy & swallowing therapy, enduring two major seizures while regularly facing absence seIzures, BPD lung disease, chronic aspiration pneumonia, a vp shunt in his brain and a paralyzed vocal chord that will require surgery this spring.
Daniel & Julie, like so many people I know, have found themselves in that financial rough spot for the past eight years: making too much to qualify for governmental aid but just making enough to raise their family day to day. Although they have had health insurance through every battle along the way, the domino effect into their personal finances has been overwhelming from doctor co-pays, medicine, emergency visits, out-of-network expenses, & specialists.
Eight years later, they still owe over $26,000 in medical debt. My brother told me they are currently paying on 19 medical debts in addition to their normal bills. Both Daniel & Julie work full time jobs while raising their three children in NJ.
I appreciate your prayers for my brother and his family and for those of you that are able to support them financially. Thank you!!!
- Karen Yutsus
- Jenni Dudley
- mona schwartz
- Carol Webster
- Abigail Speltz
Organizer and beneficiary
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