Support for Forest Emory Pihera

Julie Rutledge and Kell Pihera happily welcomed their first child, Forest Emory Pihera on 1/20/18 at 7:33am, weighing 8 lbs 15 oz and 20.5 inches long.  

Julie and Kell have given their permission to share his story. Unfortunately, Forest had complications during delivery with meconium aspiration. They were unable to stabilze him in Athens and was sent by helicopter to Children's Hospital of Georgia in Augusta.  He is now on a specialized machine called an ECMO in the NICU.  This machine bypasses the lungs by cycling the blood out of the body into a machine that cleans the blood, adds oxygen, removes CO2, warms the blood and then returns it to the body.  There are less than 200 hospitals in the world that have this machine/capability.  The care team is allowing the lungs to rest so the body's immune system can restore normal lung function. This can take 4 - 14+ days.  Forest is responding well to the treatment, but he is not out of the woods yet.  

Kell and Julie are staying at a Ronald McDonald Charity House in Augusta indefinitely until he is well. The doctors have told them it could be another 3 weeks until they can hold Forest so they anticipate a long term stay.  Luckily, immediate family has been with them at the hospital. Many other family members and friends have reached out to help but it has been difficult to do so since they're in another city. They have modestly estimated a donation need that would cover double lost wages and out of pocket medical expenses. As many of you know, Julie and Kell are both dedicated public school teachers. So any contribution amount is appreciated. No amount is too small to help this adventourous, hilarious and free-spirited family! Your generosity will help Julie and Kell be able to stay with Forest and welcome him home soon. Feel free to leave uplifting comments too!
  • John Hand 
    • $150 
    • 52 mos
  • Veronica Wilson 
    • $50 
    • 53 mos
  • Andy & Danielle Rusk 
    • $75 
    • 53 mos
  • John Mobley 
    • $100 
    • 53 mos
  • Jessica Dishman 
    • $100 
    • 54 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Lauren Flook Brown 
Athens, GA
Kell Pihera