HLHS Saving Abigails Heart Houston

$26,644 of $75,000 goal

Raised by 110 people in 15 months
UPDATE 4-18-17 One year ago today is when it all began. Having been an EMT and First Responder for years, and well versed in the medical field, I had never even heard of HLHS much less in detail the severity of "Baby B's" (Abigail) condition and all that was ahead of her and us as a family. At the time we were a family soon to be of 6 and one year later I will have a family soon to be 3. I remember how I had no clue how I was going to afford supporting all of us on a single family income especially with the major cost of medical bills that I would be facing, relocating to Houston, which at the time we didnt even know would need to happen and working the business from several states over. But I also remember saying, "I dont know how, but we will make it, there is always a way." Then the final two blows . . . dad's diagnosis of aggressive colon cancer and a divorce with 5 month old twins. Every stage of this journey I felt as if I was topped out at my potential, mentally, physically, spiritually and financially. Even before we got the blessesed news of our pregnancy, I remember thinking I was giving all I had, working what seemed like endless hours for days straight, running errands daily as we only had one vehicle and my wife was unable to drive and trying to be the best husband and step father I could be. But each new additional trial, I have been given the inner resources to cope and manage things. It wasn't until the last several months that I'd say every aspect of my life has been red linned. It has been more than life changing to say the least and has put me through tests that as a man, husband, father and son I have never imagined possible much less experienced. BUT, there isn't any other life I would swap it for and that's the truth. Everything I have gone through has prepared me to cope and keep my head straight through all of this. So all of the above is not with complaints but with humility and undeserving grace from the Almighty and so much HEARTfelt appreciation for my family that has been there for me in so many ways especially during the many days I have needed to vent, my customers that have been a blessing in not only being patient with missed deadlines but donating their hard earned money to help keep things afloat as well as all of the many friends and family and friends of friends and people I have never even met giving and praying so generously and consistently through this very difficult journey. I am forever grateful for all of the many sacrifices that have been made by so many loving people. One day, Abigail & Eliana will know how so many people did so much for them and loved and cared for them. I want you all to know that you all played a majorly significant part in saving Abigail's life. Although I gave everything I had, there is absolutely no way that I could have done this without you all and God. I'm embarrassed to say that on several occasions, it was your donations that kept our insanely expensive insurance from getting canceled, which is always a constant fear that hangs over my head and has been since we first started this younger. And rightfully so as Abigails life is so very dependent on health insurance. So far her medical expenses have totally to 2.6 Million Dollars and thats just in the first 8 months of her life. I cannot say thank you enough, but rest assured I will do everything in my power to make sure two amazing little girls will grow up safe and knowing how much they are loved by all of you, their earthly father and Heavenly Father. Unfortunately, things are just as stressful in all aspects but I am praying for guidance and the resources to be able to handle my expanding divorce. It's best, I'm sure that, I do not go into details regarding that on here, but feel free to private message me. I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed day! Love, Skip https://www.gofundme.com/savings-abigails-heart-hlhs __________________________________________ HLHS - Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome Houston, Texas at Texas Children's Hospital ABIGAIL ELIZABETH COVAN 8-19-2017 My wife and were blessed this year to find out that we were pregnant! On our first ultrasound, we were further blessed and pleasantly surprised to find out that we are having twins!! Then, we went in for our 18-week ultrasound and found out that we are having twin girls! This was especially important to us as my wife and I have two amazing boys, Gabe (age 3) and Eli (age 7), so we were praying for at least one girl. Gabe and Eli are my step sons, however I think of them as my own children and unfortunately we have not received any support. Right after being told we were having baby girls, my wife’s doctor told us that they found some possible abnormalities with one of our twins and that there could possibly be something wrong with her heart and possible extra cerebral fluid on her brain and she asked us if we could make it to an immediate appointment with a high-risk pregnancy doctor in Mobile, Alabama in just a couple hours. We of course said yes. After a more detailed ultrasound, our high-risk doctor and Pediatric Cardiologist confirmed that yes, one of our baby girls (Abigail) has HLHS, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome along with Hydrocephalus. This was completely unexpected and shocking, but I remember hoping, as our doctor explained further details, that no matter how bad it is, as long as our babies and their mommy will make it through this, then that is all I asked. In the past 4 weeks from that day, our lives have consisted of adjustment after adjustment. I had an F-150 that seated only 5, fuel was expensive, and on top of that, considering traveling back and forth to Boston or other hospitals, that are able to perform lifesaving surgery, it did not make the truck suitable, so immediately I put my truck up for sale and bought the least expensive reliable SUV I could find and cut our payment in half as well as gas expenses. We also worked it out with our landlord to be able to break our lease early and are currently packing and trying to find a place to rent and cut that bill in half or as close to it as possible. My wife stays at home and takes care of our two boys and I also work from home and own Magnolia Media, a marketing company where I design and develop custom websites, logos, SEO, printed material, etc. etc. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (insulin dependent) 7 years ago and was already working 80+ hours a week before finding out that one of our twin girls would have to have immediate life-saving surgery after delivery, as well as two more after that and possibly even have to have a heart transplant due to the severity of her condition, and that no hospital in Mobile or anywhere close could perform this procedure. We started looking at Boston as they are #1 in the nation, however it is so very far away and none of our family would be able to come support us. So, now we are looking at Children’s Hospital in Houston (Rated #2 for HLHS Surgeries) as well as UAB in Birmingham, AL. Having been a volunteer firefighter for nearly 10 years and an EMT and First Responder as well, I feel God was preparing me for what lies ahead of us with caring for Abigail. I currently no longer volunteer but hope to one day when things settle back down so I can continue to serve my community and help others while instilling this quality in all 4 of our children. I mention all of the above not to complain, but to humble myself before friends, family and people we don’t even know, to ask them to donate what they can and have worked hard for. I want everyone to know that I have done and will do all I can to provide a way to save our daughters life, as without even the first open heart surgery, she will die within days and there is a 0% chance of survival without this. With the surgery, there is a 97% survival rate after the first open heart surgery. Even after cutting our bills down as low as possible and with health insurance the expenses of saving Abigail are extreme. Just our out of pocket for the year is nearly $15,000, not to mention travel expenses to and from Texas Children's or UAB, help with our other two children while we are away for at least a month or longer at a time, as well as childcare when we return. We will incur lodging cost before delivery as we will have to be close to the hospital at least several weeks before the babies are delivered, and the time I will have to take off from work, however I will still be working any chance I can during all of this. Our family has so much ahead of us. We as Christians rely on God’s strength and guidance as we reach out to all of you and will be so grateful if you could help in any way you can, even if it’s just taking the time to forward this on your social media or email anyone you know that could help. If there is anyway I can return the favor, I am more than willing. God Bless you and please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers. Skip & Jazzmin Covan Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/724294187753641/ Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Saving-Abigails-Heart-HLHS-Hydrocephilus-1491120940933133/ Rhonald McDonald House in Houston, TX we are staying at.  They are such a blessing to us! In route to Texas Children's Hospital and relocating to Houston, Tx for a minimum of 6-7 months! Our sweet baby Eliana! Our Sweet Abigail! Our two blessings, Abby and Ely! Me and my youngest step-son, Gabe! Ultrasound pic of baby Abigail! My Beautiful wife Jazzmin Covan! :) Me back when I volunteered as a medic and fireifghter for Seven Hills Fire Department! Jazz and I on her birthday when we first started dating! Jazz and I when we first started dating!  Eli and I when he caught his first fish! UPDATE (before delivery) We are now not only dealing with Abigail and Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and Ventricularmegaly but now Polyhydramnios (too much fluid in amniotic sac), and the abscence of the Septum Pellucidum. In addition to new diagnosis with Abigail, both of our twin girls have a major weight difference.  Abigail is in the 80th percentile while Eliana is in the 10th percentile.  For Abigail to be able to have her first heart surgery, she will need to put on several more pounds and Eliana is not even 3 lbs at 30 weeks gestation. Please continue to support us through prayer, sharing our story and donating should God lead you in that direction.  Thank you so very much and God Bless You! - Skip C. ----------------------------------------------------------
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One year ago today is when it all began. Having been an EMT and First Responder for years, and well versed in the medical field, I had never even heard of HLHS much less in detail the severity of "Baby B's" (Abigail) condition and all that was ahead of her and us as a family. At the time we were a family soon to be of 6 and one year later I will have a family soon to be 3.

I remember how I had no clue how I was going to afford supporting all of us on a single family income especially with the major cost of medical bills that I would be facing, relocating to Houston, which at the time we didnt even know would need to happen and working the business from several states over. But I also remember saying, "I dont know how, but we will make it, there is always a way."

Then the final two blows . . . dad's diagnosis of aggressive colon cancer and a divorce with 5 month old twins.

Every stage of this journey I felt as if I was topped out at my potential, mentally, physically, spiritually and financially. Even before we got the blessesed news of our pregnancy, I remember thinking I was giving all I had, working what seemed like endless hours for days straight, running errands daily as we only had one vehicle and my wife was unable to drive and trying to be the best husband and step father I could be. But each new additional trial, I have been given the inner resources to cope and manage things. It wasn't until the last several months that I'd say every aspect of my life has been red linned. It has been more than life changing to say the least and has put me through tests that as a man, husband, father and son I have never imagined possible much less experienced.

BUT, there isn't any other life I would swap it for and that's the truth. Everything I have gone through has prepared me to cope and keep my head straight through all of this. So all of the above is not with complaints but with humility and undeserving grace from the Almighty and so much HEARTfelt appreciation for my family that has been there for me in so many ways especially during the many days I have needed to vent, my customers that have been a blessing in not only being patient with missed deadlines but donating their hard earned money to help keep things afloat as well as all of the many friends and family and friends of friends and people I have never even met giving and praying so generously and consistently through this very difficult journey.

I am forever grateful for all of the many sacrifices that have been made by so many loving people. One day, Abigail & Eliana will know how so many people did so much for them and loved and cared for them.

I want you all to know that you all played a majorly significant part in saving Abigail's life. Although I gave everything I had, there is absolutely no way that I could have done this without you all and God. I'm embarrassed to say that on several occasions, it was your donations that kept our insanely expensive insurance from getting canceled, which is always a constant fear that hangs over my head and has been since we first started this younger. And rightfully so as Abigails life is so very dependent on health insurance. So far her medical expenses have totally to 2.6 Million Dollars and thats just in the first 8 months of her life. I cannot say thank you enough, but rest assured I will do everything in my power to make sure two amazing little girls will grow up safe and knowing how much they are loved by all of you, their earthly father and Heavenly Father.

Unfortunately, things are just as stressful in all aspects but I am praying for guidance and the resources to be able to handle my expanding divorce. It's best, I'm sure that, I do not go into details regarding that on here, but feel free to private message me.

I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed day!

Love,
Skip
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Im writing this post it is with very mixed emotions.  Throughout this past year my family has gone through some tremendous trials all seeming to happen nearly at the same time.

Just a year and 3 days ago last year, I posted on Facebook, "Two healthy babies!  Just finished up with our visit at the doctor and all is perfect!" Little did we know that day that at another ultrasound appointment in the near future we would find out we were having girls and then the shocking and life altering news of Abigails Hlhs and Ventricularmegly.  Together with all of your help and prayers, Jazz and I made it to Houston having sold nearly all of our possessions, selling my truck and getting a very small suv that would fit all of us, and storing what remaining things we had in a storage unit.  Going from RMH to the hospital and back numerous times and then the ginormous hurricane that hit, delivery and two open heart surgeries, and many medical, financial, business and maritial obstacles, we made it back to Alabama a little over a week ago with both twins. I made it back a little sooner as dad had been extremely sick and was only a couple days away from not making it.  So I came down to help mom and care for dad.  So from one hospital scene to with a family member right into another. I came back up to Houston after dad had his surgery, diagnosis of Signet Ring Cell Carcinoma and was somewhat stable. On my last trip up not too far from Houston, an 18wheeler ran off the side of the road and slung a huge piece of metal that took out part of my front bumper, so that's yet another expense, with a $1000 deductible. I was able to visit with Abigail, take a lovonox and Gtube class, pack and clean the apartment we were going inebtween there and the hospital (and mostly we slept and stayed  at the hospital).  

As does too many times in life, stressful situations, I'm afraid, can take a toll on a relationship.  So many changes, really losing/selling everything we worked for, living in a new city and living in a hospital room with twins!!!  Very little sleep, eating unhealthy as its impossible to cook s real meal, not enough work on the business, not nearly enough quality alone time with each other and daily problems, usually medically or financially related. 

Jazz is somewhere in the escambia county or baldwin county area, im assuming staying with family and is caring for Abigail and Eliana.  There is very little to no communication and what is there....well it's just not worth trying anymore. 

I am staying with mom and dad until things settle down more with dad's diagnosis and help them as much as possible while spending some much needed quality time with them.  Plus, financially this entire situation has drained my time and therefore drained my financial ability for the moment.  Health insurance, car payment, auto insurance, cell bill, etc etc are either past due or due now.  I haven't slept in a couple days as im trying to work as much as possible to pay the bills and send support to Jazz and the twins, meet with customers, talk go docs on the phone, go to doc appointments.  I'm looking at selling my camera and lenses, which, and I'm embarrassed to say is the most valuable possession I own that's paid for.  It's odd how it seems I'm starting all over again.  Will be finding a place to live alone expect when the twins come over, I will be single again, and even the business will need loads of time to reestablish and make things better with my customers as I have been late on so many things.

Please keep my bride, our little Abby and Eliana, dad and his illness and our financial situation all in your prayers.  I do hate to ask, I hated from the beginning to even start a gofundme page, but if the Lord leads and your able, any donation would be so very much appreciated and properly used to pay our bills and care for my family. 

Thank you so much and God Bless You All

Skip C.

https://www.gofundme.com/savings-abigails-heart-hlhs
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As Abigail seems to be wrapping up her stay at TCH, I can't help but look all the way back to this time last year. Just yesterday, last year, Jazz and I found out we were having twins!! We both were so excited and honestly I think a little scared. And then it wasn't too many more weeks we found out they both were girls!!!, which was even more excited since that would balance out our little family with Gabe and Eli. But that day, we also found out "BabyB" had HLHS and ventricularmegly. At the time I didn't even know what HLHS was, but it wasn't long before we were well versed in how serious our unborn baby's condition was. That day started a whirlwind of changes for us. I had already decided on selling my truck and getting an SUV that would fit all of our family. God provided a buyer quickly as well as led us to our mini-bus. Lol. Then it was lots of doctor appointments, many days of nausea and pain for Jazz and lots of running to the drug store and various places with numerous trials and errors on what helped with her nausea. Peppermint seemed to be the key btw and taking her iron pill in the morning with food.

Once we had choosen TCH and realizing we had to temporarily relocate for 6 month's or so, we downsized from a really nice home in Spanish Fort to a nice but small one bedroom apartment in west mobile. We sold as much as we possibly could and put what was left in storage and then not long after July 4th things were serious enough that TCH wanted us there to wait for delivery. So we packed the SUV so tight that I think we had things coming out the muffler, on the way the 500 mile trip to Houston. Lol. After arriving, we had lots of test and scans and doctors appointments and a lot of waiting and false alarms.

And then it was time for Jazz to be induced. I remember it so clearly now. I felt so bad for Jazz having to go through all of the pain she endured. I knew she was scared and hurting and all I could do is be there and hold her hand and try and coach her through it. Besides the doctors, I was all she had and she was all I had there, and of course God.

When I got to first hold our girls the one thing that stood out so much to me was when they opened their little eyes and were absorbing all they could that room. It's like you could tell they were thinking: "wow, I had no idea there was so many cool things out here!!" Lol it was a once in a lifetime experience for me that I will always cherish and have my amazing wife to sincerely thank for. As well as her giving mom and dad their first grandchildren, something they had always prayed and hoped for!

From then on it seemed to be even more non-stop. Jazz was on bed rest due to high blood pressure but I could wheel her around to see our girls. I had 3 girls that needed me and only 1 of me and of course I still needed to try and fit in work. Much of the rest of our stay is sorta a blur. There were soooo many times we moved from the Ronald McDonald House, hospital rooms on the 15th floor, hospital rooms on the 17th in the CVICU and back and forth between the Hospitality Apartments and TCH. And that was just the moves. But through an enormous hurricane after Abihails first open heart surgery to ice storms and snow, we adapted and found ways of making it.

Anyone that has twins with one that has had to stay in the hospital for any length of time, I have all respect for: mom or dad or both. It has been more than difficult, and one step away from impossible. I knew it would be the hardest thing either of us had ever gone through but neither of us had any clue how much it would affect all aspects of our lives. But from the beginning I knew we would make it through with our twins alive and healthy. Unfortunately our journey has left some marks that I'm hoping and praying through God's healing hand He will mend what is broken and make what was, something that is more perfect and that Glorifies Him more.

Throughout the past 4 or 5 months of us being in Houston, my dad became I'll and continued to get sicker and sicker and was in and out of the ER and hospitals. It was extremely difficult knowing mom and dad were so far away dealing with their own fiery furnace of affliction and needed my help. So as dad progressively got worse, Jazz, Eliana and myself took the trip to mobile and were able to visit only 2 days before TCH called up on Saturday night and said Abigail was in the best shape she has been in to have surgery and there was an opening that Monday. So we discussed it together and decided to head back and movr forward with the Glenn Procedure. Abiagil did well but was moved back and for from the cvicu and 15th floor many times. Fastforwarding another month, Dad had declined even further so i made the trip to mobile leaving Jazz, Eliana and Abigail in Houston. As of now, Dad has had surgery that saved his life. Unfortunately the next day after surgery, as my dad was laying in a bed in ICU knocked out from the anestgesia and pain meds, I was told by his doc that he had a very aggressive form of colon cancer and was in stage 3 or 4, with 4 being the last stage. I took it well from the doctor and remember walking out trying to find the words to tell mom, who was a few floors below us in the ER for chest pain, that her husband of 45 years has terminal cancer. Before I left I tried to tell his nurse I would be back but had to go tel my mom, but midway I count speak and had to walk away before breaking down. Dad is home now after more ER trips, hospital stays and 3 health/rehab facility stays. We are waiting on a pet scan coming up this week and the results that will tell us if his cancer has spread elsewhere.

It has been a year I will never forget and that has etched many memories very deep in my soul, some very good and some that words cannot begin to describe.

I humbly ask all of you to please continue to join me in prayer for continued spiritual, emotional, physical, and financial healing for my family and that through this we will be able to come out of this fire refined as silver and gold. May God bless you all for all you have done for me and my family. I will never forget it.

Love in Christ,

Skip

https://www.gofundme.com/savings-abigails-heart-hlhs

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you."
Abby going to sleep after eating!
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Abby went back up to the CVICU about a week or so ago and now is doing much better and we should be in a room on the 15th floor today.

Hoping and praying all works out to where we can be back in Mobile in less than a month!! So much to do in finding a new place to live, furniture, etc., etc.!!

Praying for all of our friends and family a Blessed New Year!

Skip
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$26,644 of $75,000 goal

Raised by 110 people in 15 months
Created May 9, 2017
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