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Love for Ily

Update from Heather as of October 29, 2019:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Yesterday, wasn’t the greatest in terms of news. I don’t want to put it out into the universe but we are trying to be very transparent and the more you know the more you can specifically pray for our baby girl. Jason and I met with the doctor yesterday. She is borderline close to being termed failure to thrive. While she is gaining weight it’s not nearly what she needs to be gaining and “if her body isn’t growing her brain isn’t growing.” We talked about possible brain MRIs and “permanent” G-tubes. While we aren’t there yet, we may be revisiting these conversations in 2-3 weeks and “should be prepared for the possibility”. It was a hard hit, and we still don’t know if the epogen is working to stimulate her bone marrow’s red blood cell production. There’s a lot we don’t know, but there are a few things we do. GOD IS GOOD AND HE HAS BIG PLANS FOR OUR LITTLE GIRL, SHE IS LOVED AND BLANKETED IN PRAYER, AND SHE’S ALREADY A FIGHTER! Please continue to pray for her and our family. #lovemakeslittlethingsgrow #ilyily

Original post from Saturday, October 26, 2019

As a teacher, mom of three (now four) and wife to one, Heather Guckian is like most of us and never has enough time, so when the doctors told her during her pregnancy that she needed to see a high-risk neonatologist because of her high blood pressure, she had to find time to squeeze it in. So once a week, for much of her pregnancy, she was waiting at the doctor's office so that she could be their first appointment of the day at 6:45 a.m. This meant she could still provide the care her baby needed in utero without missing work.

The not missing work thing was important on several levels - 1. Heather loves her students and after working for 20 years in education in schools with high-risk populations she knows that showing up each day for her students matters. 2. Heather and her husband, Jason, have three other children (a 6th grader, a high school freshman, and a high school senior), which means they have bills and like most of us, they depend on two incomes to support their household.

Although baby number four was a surprise, the family was excited to welcome the new addition and decided to call her Ily (I love you), because they always want her to know she is loved. What they didn’t expect was that within hours of Heather being officially diagnosed with severe superimposed preeclampsia she would deliver Ily at 33 weeks (September 26, 2019) via emergency c-section or that Heather would remain in the hospital herself for over a week. The “cure” for preeclampsia is delivery of the baby. However, in very rare cases, delivery doesn’t solve the problem. Heather’s was one of these rare cases and although she was discharged after a week, she is still seeing her own doctor weekly to ensure that she doesn’t now develop postpartum preeclampsia.

Ily weighed in at 4 lbs., 8 oz. and despite Heather having been given a round of steroid shots to speed her lung growth at 28 weeks she needed help breathing at birth and was whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). She was initially being treated for Respiratory Distress Syndrome and sepsis, among other things and Heather and Jason were told that she would likely have some developmental delays that may or may not clear up by her 2nd birthday.

Although Ily has made progress, she is still in the NICU a month after birth. She still struggles with breathing, as well as keeping her heart rate up. Additionally, despite more than two weeks of iron supplementation she is anemic. Her bone marrow doesn’t produce enough red blood cells which makes the delivery of oxygen to her body and brain difficult. Doctors are trying the “next step” to correct this in hopes that a blood transfusion isn’t needed. Ily is on a feeding tube, as she’s continuing to struggle with her regular nursing or bottle feeds. Doctors are throwing around terms like “lung disease” and “respiratory distress syndrome”, “developmental delays” and “feeding aversions”.

There is so much to be thankful for, but the reality is that Ily has a long road ahead of her and the Guckian’s need help so that Heather can show up each day for her daughter – just like she’s shown up for her students each day throughout her career. Heather spends hours at the hospital each day, pumping, cuddling and providing Ily with the care that doctors know they can’t replicate in the same way that a parent or loved one can. Ily’s doctors suspect that the earliest she will be able to start daycare is March of 2020.

Texas teachers receive no paid maternity leave (some teachers purchase short term leave), so a typical 6-8 week leave is difficult enough, but faced with the prospect of missing months of work, we have an opportunity to allow Heather to show up for her daughter each day without the stress of replacing her income until Ily can begin daycare. The funds raised will help replace the income that Heather will not be bringing in beginning in November, which means the funds will be used for their mortgage, car insurance, groceries, and medical bills.

Our initial goal is to raise $25,000 so that they can survive, but I would love if we could raise $35,000 so that during an already stressful period we could eliminate the financial stress completely.



  • Dawn and Kristen Barnett
    • $25 
    • 4 yrs

Fundraising team (2)

Sarah Vaught Cathey
Raised $38 from 1 donation
San Antonio, TX
Jason Guckian
Heather Guckian
Team member
Raised $120 from 4 donations
This team raised $5,207 from 75 other donations.

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