Baby Laken needs our help!

I've set up this account for a coworker of mine and his family. Let me go ahead and explain that knowing him, this will probably be completely against his wishes. He is an awesome guy, working with him is a pleasure. Most of the pertinent information is in the second photo. Baby Laken and her twin were born premature, and have fought through more than most can bear, let's help her keep fighting.

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Team Laken

Video Gary (Dad) Created in January 2014


Baby Laken Needs Our Help!

Laken and Rowan were born at 33 weeks on Dec. 15th, 2013. We went in thinking we would leave the hospital with two healthy twin girls not knowing anything was wrong. Laken was taken by life flight to the Duke NIC unit that day and Rowan went not long after in an ambulance. Even though Rowan had a few issues after birth she bounced back fast and was home in 4 weeks.
Laken has had to fight from the very beginning. Laken was in the hospital for four months, endured five surgeries and we came very close to losing her. It is only by the Grace of God that Laken is with us today.

Since coming home with Laken she's had a lot of follow up visits with doctors that will continue for the rest of her life. When she was 6 months old she had a hearing test done because she had failed two screenings in the NICU. I wasn't concerned because I knew how sick she was and if they didn't get a response it was from pain meds. We went in for the ABR test and right after she told us that she had severe to profound hearing loss in both ears. She said Laken could get hearing aids to start with and may be a candidate for a cochlear implant with more testing. After everything she had been through this was another up hill battle she would face. Because of all her other delays this would make life a bigger challenge for her. I knew nothing about a cochlear implant and didn't ask any questions because I couldn't control my crying. It took a while before I was able to come to terms with this and start my research on helping her. I have reached out and have heard wonderful things about the cochlear implant. There was hope that Laken wouldn't have to live in silence and with a lot of hard work, she would be hearing and talking. So we started the long process not knowing that insurance pays nothing related to her hearing loss. Appeal after appeal and filing for every grant and everything possible for help paying for the medical bills we have been turned down. We were feeling hopeless and helpless until our community began to step in and help. We are starting to feel hopeful again. We finally received our down payment and payment estimates
today. They are asking for a down payment of $23,410.00 with payments estimated at $488 a
month for 48 months. We have had to postpone surgery several times and we are praying that this time we will be approved and have enough money to go forward with the cochlear implant surgery.

We are so touched and humbled by everyone wanting to help our family! We are beyond blessed for those that care about her so much. You will do everything in your power as a parent to help better your child's life, even if that’s letting go of your pride and letting others help you!

We will never be able to express our gratitude enough. We have been so amazed with the sheer number of people that care for our angel!

Gary and Stacy Westbrooks


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Byron Jones 
Greensboro, NC
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