My Name is Nicole Dollarhide. My son Max was born on August 21st, 2016 in Wichita Falls, Texas with a tracheoesophageal fistula, an imperforate anus, and a tethered spine. Minutes after he was born he was taken from me and put into the nursery to await the pediatrician who told us that the NICU at their hospital was not equipped to deal with my sons issues and he would need to be transferred to Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth which is 2 hours south of where I gave birth at United Regional.
A few hours after Max was born an ambulance team from Cook showed up and took my husband and my baby away from me for the night. It was devastating and I spent a lot of time wondering what went wrong and why my body didn't grow this precious little miracle right.
After several hours of testing, my husband called me to inform me of the extent of Max's problems. His stomach was not attached to his esophagus, instead it had attached itself to his trachea, he had no anus, and his spinal cord was attached to his spinal column instead of floating freely the way it should. They also found a small brain bleed, a heart issue, and a liver issue. I was terrified An angel of a nurse called my OB and pushed for her to release me 12 hours post partum so I could come to Cook and be with my family as Max had surgery scheduled for the following day, August 23rd.
His surgery was a success but shortly after he began having breathing issues. The team here at Cook is incredible and they are doing all they can to address Max's many issues. His TEF and Imperforate anus have been fixed, the tethered spine will have to wait until he is 3 months old for them to address. He had to have a second chest tube put in to have fluid drained off of his right lung yesterday. It's been a very up and down roller coaster.
Because of all the problems, my husband Chris has so far missed a week of work. He is back working in Wichita Falls over 2 hours away so that we can continue to make ends meet and pay the bills as well as cover food for myself and our older son while we are here in Fort Worth. We will also end up paying the hospital several thousand dollars by the time Max is able to leave here, even with insurance.
It's very difficult for me to ever ask for help, but I have come to realize there are moments in life where we all need to. We have had many friends and family members pouring out their support in prayers and well wishes. Right now our little family could use some help in making ends meet, covering copays and essentials while we are here in the hospital and also allowing Chris to possibly take a little time off to be here with us instead of so far away.