Help cover medical expenses for our sweet Kennedy

Help cover medical expenses for our sweet Kennedy

From Maribel Almeida

On behalf of the Van Fleet/Wilson/Hartsell/Coury family, we are starting a Fundly for my niece Kennedy. As many of you know, Kennedy was hospitalized for 23 days for seizures with an unknown cause and suffered brain inju

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On behalf of the Van Fleet/Wilson/Hartsell/Coury family, we are starting a  fundraise campaign for my niece Kennedy. As many of you know, Kennedy was hospitalized for 23 days for seizures with an unknown cause and suffered a brain injury.

On Saturday, July 1st Kennedy came down with a mild fever. At 4am Sunday morning, my sister-in-law Kelly and brother-in-law Rich woke up to Kennedy having trouble breathing and walked in to find her having a seizure and her lips turning blue. The ambulance rushed to Waterbury hospital where she continued to have seizures. Then, they transferred her to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center to the pediatric ICU. For 5 days, doctors had not been able to stop the seizures and trouble breathing. Finally, they did an MRI on her brain which showed inflammation on both sides of her brain. The doctors had never seen something like this before and had to talk to other hospitals to determine a solution. All bacterial, parasitical, infectious disease and genetic testing had come back negative. The doctors gave her steroids to help the inflammation go down. They believe an unfound virus caused her fever and then for some reason, her body’s immune system attacked her brain causing the inflammation. The inflammation caused damage to her brain which doctors refer to as leukoencephalopathy. Kelly and Rich spent every night in the hospital with Kennedy.

Once Kennedy was awake, it was clear that she suffered a brain injury and lost her abilities to walk, talk, swallow and control her limbs. She had to spend an additional 3 days in the hospital to have a g-tube placed for long term feeding. Doctors are optimistic that with enough speech, occupational and physical therapy, Kennedy will relearn how to swallow, sit-up, walk, regain use of her hands and learn to talk again, but she has a long road ahead of her. Since coming home from the hospital, Kennedy has already begun to improve little by little. She’s now starting to smile and beginning to babble.

After coming home, it hasn’t been easy for Kelly and Rich to adjust to their new life. They also have their 2 other daughters, 2-year-old Cori and 20-year old Brianna to care for. They are some of the strongest people I know, but with Kelly at home to care for the girls and Rich running his HVAC business, the last thing they need to be thinking about is the financial burden this has brought on. On top of medical bills, Kennedy will need years of therapy, supportive equipment and other assistance.

This is a true nightmare they are going through right now and neither of them is kind enough to ask for help, but they are always the first to help others. We know Kelly and Rich are thankful for the help and support both of their families have shown during this hard time. If you are unable to give a donation at this time, we totally understand and your thoughts and prayers are appreciated.

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