Kelsey and baby Maxley

$44,375 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 621 people in 4 months
Created June 10, 2018
My sister, Kelsey, has been through more devastation in the last year than some people deal with in a lifetime.  First, Kelsey and Scott started trying for a baby as soon as they got married in March 2016, but after a year of negative pregnancy tests, they sought the help of a doctor who eventually put Kelsey on fertility meds.  Amazingly they helped and Kelsey was pregnant in July 2017.  Unfortunately in  August 2017, Kelsey and Scott got their first devastating news, they had lost the baby at about 9 weeks.  Kelsey went back on her meds when she was given the all clear from her doctor, and they were lucky to conceive again quickly. They announced to friends and family in November that they were expecting again, due in late July 2018.  They celebrated cautiously knowing what had happened the last time.  

When they hit the 20 week mark, they felt relief having made it that far, and announced they were having a boy!  However during their 20 week ultrasound, the techs were not able to get all the images they needed, so Kelsey and Scott needed to go back in at 24 weeks for a follow up ultrasound.  It was during that appointment that their world came crashing down.  They were told that the baby had a heart defect, and that the baby was measuring almost 4 weeks behind in size.  Those 2 items are symptoms of a couple chromosomal abnormalities, and the specialist told Kelsey and Scott that it was very likely that he had an abnormality that would be fatal.  Most babies are stillborn, and if they do happen to make it to term, they dont survive long outside the womb.  Kelsey and Scott were devastated.  They both wanted nothing more than to be parents, and had been trying for 2 years at this point to make that happen. Doctors ran blood tests that day, and for a week while they waited for the results, they thought their dreams of this baby were gone.  However those results ended up coming back negative/low risk of the 5 most common abnormalities.  Kelsey and Scott's dreams were reignited.  

Doctors determined Kelsey's placenta was not working like it should, so that was most likely the reason the baby was measuring small.  They then transferred her to Abbott for future tests and appointments. She was told that most growth restricted babies require extra monitoring, and that at some point she could get admitted to the hospital for constant monitoring.  It would help them determine exactly when the right time would be to take the baby out.  The longer they wait, the healthier the baby, but then if they wait too long then the baby could die from lack of blood flow and nutrients from the placenta.  Kelsey continued monitoring for several weeks.  However the weekend of June 1, at 32 weeks, Kelsey wasnt feeling the babies movement as much, so doctors gave her a shot of steriods and told her she will most likely have the baby by 34 weeks. 

On Monday June 4, doctors decided that it was time Kelsey be admitted to the hospital.  Scott helped get her checked in, and went home that night.  At this point, Scott had been dealing with multiple symptoms over the last several weeks, cough, body aches, fever, joint pain, etc.  He had seen a couple doctors, and had tried a few meds, but nothing had helped, and no one seemed to be sure exactly what was going on.  They thought he had rheumatoid arthritis, all the symptoms fit, and he had an appointment set up for that Wednesday to start treatment.  After Scott left Kelsey on Monday night though, he went home and he was having a hard time breathing, he could not stop coughing, and he even started coughing up blood. He drove himself the the ER in Shakopee, and they did Xrays and thought it was pneumonia.  They decided to transfer him to another hospital to see a lung specialist, they gave him a choice of Methodist or Abbott, and since Kelsey was at Abbott, they transferred him up there.

Once he got checked in there, doctors determined he had a rare autoimmune disease called Vasculitis or Wegeners, which is an inflammation of the blood vessels. They started his treatment and on Wednesday he felt so much better.  Kelsey was able to visit him a few times a day on Tuesday and Wednesday.  On Thursday however, Scott was still not able to get his oxygen levels up and was still having difficulty breathing.  They wanted to try a few procedures to help, including putting him on lung bypass to help give his lungs a break.  Unfortunately during that procedure, Scott suffered cardiac arrest.  They were able to resuscitate him after 45 min, and after a long while they were able to transfer him up to the Cardiac ICU.  Kelsey was able to be with him, but doctors told her they were not able to stop the bleeding into his lungs, and there wasn't anything else they could do.  Scott passed away just after midnight on June 8th, at just 30 years old.

Kelsey was still in the hospital for her high risk pregnancy, and after regular monitoring 3 times a day over the weekend, on Tuesday June 12, doctors determined it was time for her baby to meet the world, just 4 days after his daddy had passed away.  Maxley Russell Ferguson was born via csection at 11:56am on June 12, 2018 and he weighed just 2 pounds 4 ounces.  They had warned Scott and Kelsey that the baby would most likely need to be resuscitated after birth and intubated to help him breath, but little Maxley came out crying and never needed anything to help him breath. He is thriving in the NICU and is just cute as a button.  He will be in the NICU for several weeks as he learns to grow and regulate his own temperature, and once he learns to eat consistently, he will be able to go home, though doctors think that will still be closer to his due date at the end of July.  He will still require heart surgery for his heart defect (which they had learned was an AV canal defect) but doctors anticipate that surgery will be when Maxley is about 4-6 months old.

What Kelsey is having to deal with right now, no one should have to go through that.  The birth of your child should be the best time of your life, instead, she is having to mourn the loss of her husband, plan a funeral, and care for her preemie baby in the NICU.  That is a lot for any one person to have to deal with. And obviously with the death of a spouse and parent, several financial burdens come with that.  This campaign is here to help my sister with all that comes with raising a child on her own, daycare costs, bills, not to mention the funeral costs that will come, and a new mortgage as Scott and Kelsey had JUST bought a new house in March after renting an apartment for several years, they wanted a home to raise a family in.

Please consider donating what you can to help Kelsey and baby Maxley.  We cant take Kelsey's pain away, but we can help prevent additional burdens by helping her financially.

Please visit both caring bridge pages for more detailed information for both Scott and baby Maxley.


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The funeral for Scott is this Saturday, July 21st at 1:00pm with visitation starting at 10:30am at Shepherd of the Lake Church in Prior Lake. There will be a light reception to follow where we would love to hear your best Scott stories.

Little Maxley Russell is doing so amazing! He now 5 weeks old and 3lbs 9oz. He has started bottle feeding and doing really well, but its a long process. He only drinks around 10ml from a bottle at a time, which is 1/3 of an ounce, and he only bottle feeds a couple times a day. The rest of the day he is still being fed through his feeding tube.

Kelsey had Maxley's cord blood tested, and they found a deletion (a missing piece) in his 12th chromosome. Unfortunately there aren't a lot of documented cases of this deletion (Maxley will be case number 21 in the country) but it is what caused Kelsey's placenta to fail in utero, and caused Maxley's growth restriction as well. Most likely it will cause growth restriction Maxley's whole life, but we are hopeful that a) because there are so few cases, that it may not be the case for Maxley or b) if he is growth restricted, Scott was 6'6" and Kelsey is taller too, so maybe Maxley will be 'restricted' to 6ft ;) The chromosomal abnormality also caused Maxley's heart defect, but other than that, no other known issues have come up so far. Since there is so little known about his deletion, we don't really know what to expect, but as far as the other known cases go, this shouldn't affect his life expectancy or quality of life, it might just take him a little more time to reach his milestones.

Maxley is very strong for such a little guy, and spends most of the day cuddling with mommy. All the nurses comment that he is such a normal baby, he is just small. It is so nice that he is doing so well that Kelsey can pretty much have him out whenever she wants.

Even though he is doing so well, it will still be a little bit before he can move from his isolette into a normal crib, but we are all anxiously waiting for that to happen! Doctors also think it will probably be at least another month before Maxley can go home, the feeding process takes a while.

So far Maxley has shown no signs of congestive heart failure, which they expected to see by about 6 weeks, so far so good. Once he starts showing signs, they will put him on medication to help him clear the fluid in his lungs. They are still thinking 4-6 months for his surgery, which is November/December.
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Kelsey welcomed Maxley Russell Ferguson into the world yesterday, June 12, 2018 @ 11:56am. He was 2lbs 4oz and 14.25 inches long. He was born via csection, and came out crying and breathing on his own!

Maxley will be in the NICU for several weeks as he grows stronger and learns to eat on his own. Kelsey is also doing amazing and is so in love with her precious boy.

Maxley still has his heart defect, but doctors say it looks like what they saw via ultrasound in the womb. The plan was to do surgery on him around 4-6 months, so they will now monitor him as he grows and that will hopefully remain the plan.

Thank you to everyone who has donated, reached out, and offered words of sympathy and encouragement. Kelsey has a painful road ahead of her, and its heartwarming to see everyone who is around to support her in whatever way they can.
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$44,375 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 621 people in 4 months
Created June 10, 2018
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