2013 ADOPTED FAMILIES - UPDATED APRIL 2014
*Please note that ages are at time of adoption.
This was the Bates family’s 17th year of adopting families with our family and friends and our 9th year adopting families through the Macomb Infant Preschool Program (MIPP). Jamie’s Smiles adopted the following deserving families of children with special needs through the Macomb Infant Preschool Program – here are updates on how they are faring:
Single Mom, Erin (age 32) was living in Florida with her four children. She was divorced, had a good job and was making a new home for her little ones. Following her routine ultrasound, she was told that her baby had a problem with her chromosomes and they said that the baby would be deformed at least facially, would need heart surgery at birth and would never live independently. In need of family support, Erin moved her family back to Michigan. Desperate for information on her child’s rare disease, she educated herself on all things gene and chromosome related.
A month before her due date, Erin gave birth to Myka (now age 1) who weighed just less than five pounds, but did not require heart surgery at birth. At one month old, Myka quit breathing while Mom was feeding her. After turning blue she started breathing again, but was lethargic. She was rushed to the hospital and quit breathing two more times in the waiting area. After many tests they discovered that Myka had seizures. She had been born with a very rare chromosome deletion and duplication on her first chromosome. She was also born without a portion of her brain called the corpus callosum. Her seizures are currently under control, but she is developmentally 4 months of age. Mom says that the milestones of her other children are a thing of the past, “when it comes to Myka instead I focus on the inchstones that my unique child makes every day!!!”
Myka and family were very overwhelmed with our generosity. Mom is working as a waitress in a nice restaurant in Detroit. Myka has transitioned to the next phase of the MIPP and Mom is continuing her therapy.
Single Mom, Krystal (age 23) gave birth to baby Dean (age 16 months) when she was 24 weeks along. Dean was 1lb. 8 ounces, had to be put on a ventilator and spent his first several weeks in the Neonatal ICU and first five months in the hospital. At about one month old he retained urine and could not release it. This caused a toxic build up in his body and he nearly died. They also found that he had bleeding on his brain that caused severe Cerebral Palsy. Doctors did not expect Dean to live. He beat all odds and finally at seven weeks of age, his mother could hold him for the first time. Since then, Dean has required a shunt be put in to relieve the pressure on his brain from the bleeding, a specialized retinal surgery and currently eats through a G-Tube (feeding tube). Dean’s Father is only minimally involved and is having difficulty in accepting his son’s health issues. Dean also has an older brother, Levi (age 3).
Dean was hospitalized in December 2013 due to a second round of respiratory problems. He recovered seemed healthy and was doing well. Krystal said Christmas 2013 was the best ever! She has moved her family out of her sister’s house and is now sharing a house with another single mother that she met at MIPP with a child Levi's age. They also help each other out with appointments and child care.
In early April 2014, Krystal went in to get Dean up for the day and found him unresponsive and not breathing. She called an ambulance immediately. When the paramedics arrived, they performed CPR and attempted to revive Dean. Dean could not be revived and passed away. Our most heartfelt thoughts are with Krystal and Levi as we mourn with them the loss of Dean.
Mom, Shannon (age 35), and Dad, Jason (age 35) were told that their baby had Dandy Walker Syndrome when Shannon was 20 weeks pregnant. This disease affects the brain and the cerebellum. Baby Gavyn (nearly 1 year) is missing his vermis which is the middle piece connecting the sides of the cerebellum together and has a large cyst on the left side of his brain which pushes the brain up. The cyst has caused fluid on his brain which will eventually require a shunt. The cyst and fluid are a frequent result of Dandy Walker Syndrome. He is delayed in his motor skills and his conditions affect his breathing and heart rate as well as damaging his brain stem. Gavyn is on oxygen at home and a pulse ox meter. He shows great determination throughout therapy despite his disadvantages. Gavyn has three siblings including big brother Aidan (age 3), and big sisters Tiffany (age 13) and Caitlin (age 16).
Gavyn and his family were VERY THANKFUL for Jamie’s Smiles’ Christmas support! Unfortunately, Mom and Dad have decided to divorce, but Mom has been organizing some fundraisers for Dandy Walker Syndrome and has been successful and helped other families with special needs kids. Gavyn is doing well despite his diagnosis and began walking in December.
We helped an additional 29 families by giving them diapers, books or learning toys for their children and/or gift cards for food. Here is a thank you from one of the families that we helped in 2013.
Thank you for helping these families! Every penny counts when life throws you tough times! We hope you will help us give others a hand up in the future! We adopt families every fall! To see the “Thank You Flyer” we sent to donors for this adoption click to download below.