This is Donnie here and I'm writing to reach out to you all for support for my awesome sister, Desiree, and her husband, Chris. Some of you may know that they are having a baby (!!!) and I'm so excited to be the uncle of another sweet baby girl, Liliana. However, there are some complications with her heart that make this exciting time a little scarier. Des and Chris are moving out to live with my wife, Natalie, and I as they prepare to have Lily and care for her as she goes through a series of surgeries to repair her tiny heart. The good news is, we are all super optimistic that she will sustain recovery and have a full life! We are also thankful that we get the opportunity to support Des, Chris, and Lily during one of the most difficult times in their life.
With that said, medical bills will start to flow in for the complex surgeries that Lily will require. During this stressful time, we want to reach out for your support both through prayer and possible finances. Below is a letter from Des and Chris, I hope that you would prayerfully read it and consider the best way for you to come alongside these new, amazing, and brave parents...
ALOHA FAMILY & FRIENDS,
As many of you know, Chris and I are expecting our first baby this year! She is due April 1st and we have decided to name her Liliana. Although this is an exciting time, it is also full of expected challenges. At 19 weeks pregnant, we went in for our anatomy scan, excited to find out the gender of our little one--but we walked out with news about our little girl's heart that changed everything.
After seeing two pediatric cardiologists, we now know that our Lily has what's called Double Inlet Left Ventricle--essentially meaning that her right ventricle is missing/non-functional, so she only has one pumping chamber of her heart (instead of two). Thankfully, there is a combination of three open-heart surgeries that give her a great shot at a full life!
We feel so blessed to know ahead of time about Lily's heart condition because, without a specific medication which can be given at birth, she may not have survived her first day in the world. It is also a huge blessing that we know and can make arrangements for her care because there is not a surgeon in Hawaii that can perform the surgery she will need (within a few days of birth).
Practically, this means we will need to fly to California a month before my due date and give birth near the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. After she is born, Lily will be admitted and prepped for surgery. We are hopeful and confident that she will make it through her first surgery, recovery, and whatever other challenges are ahead. After she does--she will require a second surgery when she is about 6 months old, and a third between the ages of 2-3 years old. Chris will have to fly back home to Hawaii at some point to resume work in between the first and second surgery, but Lily and I will not be able to go home until after she recovers from her second surgery.
At first, we were hesitant to ask for help in this way, then some loved ones shared some wisdom with us--that the weight of this situation is too much to carry alone, that it's ok to ask for help and support. Please don't feel any pressure or obligation to give financially, what we do ask from anyone reading this is to pray fervently and support us in that way. Anything else, we view as extra :) For anyone who decides to donate, we would use the funds to help cover medical bills, travel expenses, and other medical and practical costs for the time we have to be on the mainland.
Thank you for taking the time to read through this, and we really appreciate the love and support we have already received!
Des & Chris