Baby Jet

Many of you may have seen the story on the news of my sister who gave birth to my baby nephew on a Southwest flight on its way to Orlando on December 4th. What a crazy experience and obviously very overwhelming! My sister Erica, and her husband Chris, were so scared when she went into labor on the plane since she was only 26 weeks along in her pregnancy. With the help of an awesome nurse (Loretta Bledsoe) and an ER Dr. (Chad Garson) and another Dr. (Dr. Patel) that were on board she delivered her baby boy at 30,000ft. The plane made an emergency landing in Charleston where there happens to be an amazing hospital, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) that is equipped to take care of his special needs. The joy they felt, having a new baby was immediate and overpowering. They decided to name him Jet, ironically a name they had on their list of baby names, even before his unexpected arrival. He weighed just over 2 lbs. The hospital and its staff have been incredible and knowing that their baby was in the best care, they were relieved and joyful. This is their first baby and he is absolutely precious. However, as the days have passed since his birth, reality is starting to set in of the long road ahead of them. Imagine being hundreds of miles from home, with no family, and nothing but a few clothes from your suitcase trying to deal with the stressful situation of having a preemie in critical condition and not knowing how his health will progress.

There have been so many people that have reached out asking how they can help. Offsetting the financial burden that comes with this type of situation is one way that I believe would provide a lot of relief for them. The expenses are just starting. They are facing an extended stay in Charleston, loss of income since they are not home to work, and the obvious mounting medical expenses that insurance does not cover. The hospital believes that they will be in Charleston for at least the next 4-8 weeks. Possibly over Christmas. When baby Jet is healthy enough, he can be transported back to a pediatric hospital in Orlando, but we have been told that the insurance will not cover those transportation expenses. I am asking for any support that people are willing/able to give. Knowing that some of these expenses are covered will be one huge burden taken off of their shoulders so that can focus on what’s most important…baby Jet’s care and needs. No amount is too small. I know that Erica and Chris are so grateful for all the prayers and emotional support they have already received and would be equally grateful for any financial support. I also wanted to extend a special thank you to everyone that helped during the emergency. Their caring and expertise made all the difference. In addition to the medical personnel mentioned above, Erica and Chris would also like to thank the emergency medical team that met them on the tarmac and transported them to the hospital, flight attendant Tracy (and others, but did not catch their names, sorry), and the entire Southwest team. Thank you all!

Florida Today Article


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Organizer and beneficiary

Lisa Parada Barber 
Titusville, FL
Erica Walton 
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