Thieves Steal Funds from Baby Needing Transplant

heartA baby with a serious infection is waiting on a heart transplant. Her parents had fundraised much of the money that would be required. Sadly, some really heartless thieves stole some of that money on Valentine’s Day. The family still has a fundraiser that people can donate to.

Parents Brooke and Joshua Anderson have a baby girl named Jaelyn. She is nine months old, and has been waiting for a heart transplant for almost four months. Her parents have had fundraisers going in the hopes of being able to afford the medical care that their daughter required.

Jaelyn has myocarditis. According to the Mayo Clinic, myocarditis is an inflammation of the myocardium, (which is the middle layer of the heart wall). In Jaelyn’s case, it was caused by a viral infection. That is the most common cause of myocarditis. Symptoms include chest pain, heart failure, and abnormal heart rhythms. Treatment can include a variety of things, but in the most severe cases, doctors may consider heart transplantation.

Right now, Jaelyn is being cared for at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. As you might imagine, medical bills and other expenses drained the finances of Jaelyn’s parents.

Fortunately, help was found through a fundraiser set up by Jaelyn’s grandfather, who works at Jet Blue. They raised about $10,000 for Jaelyn’s medical care. A total of $3,000 of the money was coming from Orlando, Florida, on Valentine’s Day.

This could have been a really happy story. Sadly, thieves stole some of the money. Brooke and Joshua stopped to get a bite to eat while they were in Orlando. While they were eating, someone stole their luggage and the money that was inside it. Brooke quit her job so that she could be with her daughter, and so Jaelyn wouldn’t have to be alone in the hospital. Of the stolen money, she said:

It is a meal for us to split if we had to, or to pay a medicine off for her when she gets out of the hospital or a co-pay here. It goes pretty far.

There is a Facebook page called A New Heart for Jaelyn that you can visit to find out more about her, her family, and how things are going. Her parents have also set up a fundraiser through Facebook where you can donate if you want to and are able to.

Image by mararie on Flickr