Little Dude Big Heart

Gerold Orfanos is an astounding little 2 year old boy with equally amazing parents and big brother. In  August of 2017 Gerold was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy. Dilated Cardiomyopathy is when the heart's ability to pump blood is lessened because its main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, is enlarged and weakened. Gerold's heart was so damaged that a heart transplant was his only option. At this point the Orfanos where living in Las Vegas where Gerold was their foster child. None of his health concerns where known until a few months into him joining their family. Thankfully once the severity of his condition was discovered the Orfanos where able to adopt this sweet boy and move to Salt Lake City Utah to be close to the Primary Childrens Hospital where hopefully soon Gerold would be receiving the new heart he so badly needs. 

    Unfortunately with each test checking Gerolds heart, more and more has been found about how severe his condition really is. "As some of you know, Gerold went in for a heart catheterization today after he had a not-so-great ECHO last week. His doctors were concerned about the increasing pressures in his heart. The cath today was able to more accurately measure the pressures and unfortunately, they were worse than anyone had anticipated. With his current function, his body would put too much pressure on a new, healthy heart and most likely cause it to fail. Our only option now is for G to be put on a ventricular assist device (VAD, more specifically a Berlin heart if curious minds care to google), which means that he will be inpatient at Primary Children’s until he receives a transplant. He is a pretty unique little dude and he does not have the typical symptoms that you would expect to see with this poor heart function. He is still our crazy G! Surgery is currently scheduled for this Tuesday, but we might be able to go home for a day or two before then. We’ll be in the ICU for now and for a few weeks after surgery so he can’t have a ton of visitors but we are accepting all prayers and good thoughts!" 

    Gerold has since had a successful surgery to place the Berlin Heart and we are all patiently waiting for it to work its magic with those pressures so he can be placed back on the doner list! This kid is a fighter and he is so blessed to have a mama that is equally as determined as he is. Amanda is by his side day and night being the super woman that she is. The emotional and physical turmoil this mama has gone through in this entire process is beyond me. She is a rock. Being Gerolds 24/7 nurse, administering his medicines, feeding tubes, countless tests and Dr appointments and more sleepless nights than she'd care to admit. Not to mention still being an amazing mother for their other son Nelson. 

     Josh has had to take a medical leave from his job in Las Vegas to be able to come be here with his family and support Amanda since she has been doing this solo for months now. With all of the back and forth from the Hospital to home where their other child Nelson is, it's quite taxing. Not to mention all the eating out and other random financial burdens that arise when you have a child living at a hospital. This sweet family needs and deserves our support and love. Please dig deep and donate to give relief to this family that is facing a life time of hard hospital stays and surgeries. To worry about Gerold alone is enough, they dont need to be worried about the challenging finances associated with this as well. 

To follow Gerolds journey please visit his FB page "Little Dude Big Heart"
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Organizer and beneficiary

Emily Collins Chipping 
Salt Lake City, UT
Amanda Orfanos 

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