February 14, 2019, My niece Lilly ’Ana- Love was born prematurely. At first, nobody knew anything was wrong with her beside her being born early. She was breathing on her own and trying to suck from a bottle. One thing everyone noticed is that she didn’t open her eyes. Doctors ran some tests and discovered that she may have suffered a heart attack in utero and that she also had a virus that attacked her brain. Her birth mother received no prenatal care so none of these things were caught in advance. Her brain had been attacked so severely that all she had left was a brain stem. Doctors call this Hydranencephaly. Hydranencephaly is is a condition in which the brain's cerebral hemispheres are absent to a great degree and the remaining cranial cavity is filled with cerebrospinal fluid. More tests discovered that Lilly’Ana was hearing and vision impaired, and was having 100’s of seizures a day. Doctors said she wouldn’t live longer than two weeks with her condition. I refused to hear that and fought with Doctors for two days to get her transferred to U of M Mott’s Children’s Hospital. Mott’s was an hour and a half from my house one way. Yet I knew she would have more of a chance if I could just get her there where a Doctor wouldn’t give up on her so easily. She was breathing on her own! A month later Lilly ‘Ana was stable enough and had gained enough weight to go home. She was discharged home with me on Hospice. But that was just the beginning of our battle. A hearing was had with Child Protective Services and Lilly ‘Ana was placed with me permanently at that time because Parental rights were severed. However, CPS and the Department of Health and Human Services provided little help. I didn’t take her home looking for a handout, but I did have my own child and was barely making ends meet at the time. I was in school full time and working midnights, but I just couldn’t leave that little girl in a hospital to die, and I couldn’t bear to see her taken away with some strangers. Lilly ‘Ana fought hard her 11 months of life. We took trips back and forth to Ann Arbor many times until she just couldn’t fight anymore. She passed in my arms on January 06, 2020. I took care of this little girl for 11 months by myself. DHS, CPS didn’t offer any assistance due to my not being a licensed foster home. I was unable to work during that time, so I ran behind on almost all of my other obligations. I have put over 100,000 miles on my car driving back and forth to Ann Arbor and trying to get back and forth to school, and also trying to keep up with my 10-year-old son. I was unable to pay the taxes on my house for 2019, and my water is in shut off as well. I am asking for help with funeral expenses that the State wouldn’t cover and car repair expenses so I can finish school as I graduate in May. Also, for my taxes and some passed due bills and other loose ends that need to be tied up. Any and all donations will be greatly appreciated and will be put to good use. From the moment she squeezed my finger with her tiny hand, I knew she needed me as much as I needed her. It pains me to ask for help, but I gave that girl all I had to give and more. As this new semester started the day she passed away, I knew I couldn’t break down or give up. So that is why I am reaching out for help. I need to get my affairs in order and graduate with my head held high as she watches over me during my final semester. Thank you again for your time and consideration.
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