Support Coltons Family

Bethany Healey and Michael O’Keefe are the proud parents of an 8 month old little boy named Colton Joshua O’Keefe.   At just four months old Colton became very ill and was hospitalized for 3 weeks with pneumonia and bronchiolitis.  Colton and his family spent their first Christmas and New Years in the hospital.  When Colton was discharged he went home on oxygen and several breathing treatments.  Colton was hospitalized again last month with RSV.  The doctors have since realized that Colton has a heart defects and he will require open heart surgery.  Colton’s open heart surgery is scheduled for May 6.   This young family has endured a great deal of emotional and financial stress in the first year of their baby boy’s life. Colton cannot be in daycare so Bethany can no longer work to help financially support her family.  Michael and Bethany had to break the lease on their apartment and move in with family as the financial strain has become too great.  Please consider helping out this young family while they go through this very difficult time.   Below is a letter from Colton’s mother. 

Hi, my name is Bethany and I am the proud mother of a little boy named Colton Joshua O'Keefe.  Colton has been the biggest blessing in my life, he means more to me than words could ever explain.

Colton’s first year has been tough to say the least.  After my maternity leave I had trained to become my mother’s assistant at her home daycare so that I would be able to provide financially for my family as well as being able to watch and aid in the development of my child. It was the best of both worlds. I got to spend my days with my favorite person in the world but also able to help pay our bills. A couple weeks after we started Colton became very ill. He was hospitalized for three weeks for pneumonia and bronchiolitis. He was put on oxygen for over a month and had started a series of breathing treatments, steroids, and antibiotics because his body was not fighting the virus in the way a typical baby would have. After about 3 weeks we came home with oxygen and a new nebulizer to do at home treatments as well as multiple visiting nurses, then after about a week Colton was deemed fully recovered. At this time his pediatrician noticed a heart murmur that he wanted to get checked with an ultrasound but before we could make the appointment he contracted another virus. This time he suffered from RSV, pneumonia, and an ear infection. He was hospitalized for a little over a week this time and we repeated the same process as the first.

 A short while after we got back home we had met with a cardiologist who performed a heart echo on Colton. It came back that Colton has Ventricular Septal Defect, which means that he has a hole in his heart, and he also has an abnormal valve that has extra tissue which they need to do a “scraping” procedure to help more flow run through the valve.  Colton will need open heart surgery. We were advised to take him out of daycare to reduce the risk of anymore viruses.  I also had to leave as my mother’s assistant. We have also had to break the lease on our apartment because we can simply not afford all of our bills on one income.

Colton’s surgery is scheduled for May 6th. I cannot express how broken my family and I feel at this time.  I love my son in the biggest most impossible way and to know what he needs to go through so early crushes me. If I could have one wish in the world it would be to take his place and to know that he's okay. He is already so strong and resilient and I know deep down that he will get through this.

Right now we are asking family and friends for any type of support that can be offered. Financially we have hit a rough road because of all that has transpired.  Any type of support would be greatly appreciated and if there is a way to repay for the graciousness we would be more than happy to oblige.

I will keep everyone posted on Colton’s journey through this. Thank you all for taking the time to read our story and any type of contribution you can make. My family and I thank you.


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Organizer and beneficiary

Brigitte O'Keefe Dougherty 
Pittsfield, MA
Bethany Healey 
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