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Please Save Ronan

$36,910raised of $108,000 goal
34%

Organizer: Melissa Gericke Beneficiary: Ronan Gericke

Baby Ronan was born without most of his intestinal tract & faces liver failure. Your kind generosity will help cover the cost of critical lipids needed from Germany to save this brave boy’s life.

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Fundraiser Details

An extreme case of short bowel syndrome Ronan came into the world on December 27, 2013 with only 15-20 cm of overall bowel.  In addition to saving his digestive tract, his family is in a desperate race to save and protect his liver which is currently deteriorating at an alarming rate. Despite two major surgeries within weeks after birth and the daunting outlook of long-term hospital treatment, this courageous little boy has the heart of a warrior and the spirit of a survivor.

Medical experts in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Tucson Medical Center are anxiously awaiting the purchase of a rare type of lipids based of omega and fish oils made in Germany. These lipids have proven to be life-saving to the liver, but is extraordinary expensive and these costs are not covered by medical insurance. We need to raise a minumum of108,000. Enough of the product is needed to sustain his liver and he could need it up to 3 years, or even life-long. In Ronan’s case, a healthy liver will provide the essential time needed for the digestive tract to naturally grow and provide an opportunity for his intestines to start functioning on their own.

RONAN’S STORY

Early during pregnancy it was discovered that Ronan had gastroschisis, a condition in which the bowel escapes through a hole in the abdominal wall.  At 12 weeks the doctors suspected that Ronan’s intestines had gone back into the abdominal cavity, however, they could not know for certain until he was delivered. His parents Dino and Melissa Gericke were excited, hopeful and could not wait to see their little boy. 

Ronan came unexpectedly at 37 weeks. His parents were able to hold him for a few seconds before he was rushed off for a four-hour long surgery during which the pediatric surgeons made a devastating discovery. The intestines did not go back through the hole in the abdominal wall as suspected. Instead, the hole in which the bowel was escaping tried to heal itself during pregnancy and cut off the blood supply to the bowel that was outside of his body. Thus causing it to die and dissolve in the amniotic fluid - leaving him with an overall bowel length of only 15-20 cm. The average length of small intestine in a newborn is approximately 90cm and large intestine is 2 feet. His future was dire and uncertain. 

Although the NICU at TMC will be his home for a very long time, this spirited little boy with his strong will to live has been fighting the odds against him. He is missing the duodenum (the part of the small intestine mostly responsible for absorbing nutrients, as well as the iliocecal valve that connects the small- and large intestine and helps regulate the flow of food from the small intestine to the large intestine. During his first surgery directly after birth, the small intestine was too short to be connected to the short piece of colon and therefore surgically closed off. Without being fully connected and having a small intestine less than one-tenth of that of a normal baby, he was and still is, solely dependent on Total Parental Nutrition. (TPN) and lipids (the fats your body needs to survive). These both must be administered intravenously directly into the blood stream. Despite the life-saving attribute of TPN, it has dangerous side-effects such as line infections and permanent liver damage. 

During the next few weeks, Ronan was given very small amounts of breast milk in addition to the TPN to help with his liver function and to also help stretch the small intestine, but because the small and large intestines were not connected, his bodily secretions had to be drained through a tube connected to his stomach. On January 28 at only 1 month old, this tiny baby underwent a second surgery. The small intestine had stretched enough to enable the surgeons to perform a “step procedure” in which the intestine was stapled in steps to allow more area for nutrient absorption. The small intestine was now also long enough to be connected to the large intestine and ample time is currently needed to allow the dormant intestines to heal and to start functioning on their own.

Although his liver is at risk due to the lipids (fats) in the TPN, this is the only nutrition currently available to be administered until the much-needed lipids from Germany can be ordered. Ronan's bilirubin level is alarmingly high and his liver is at risk.

We appeal to your generosity to help save Ronan. No matter how big or small, your kindness will have a great impact and will make a huge difference in this precious child's life. With thanks and appreciation!

****In addition to the website, donations could be made nationwide at any Wells Fargo Bank to the Support Short Bowel Syndrome Fund (account name Elsie Gericke), or mailed to Ronan, c/o PO Box 18198, Tucson, AZ 85731. For questions, please feel free to contact the Gericke family at elsiegericke@gmail.com

***TO EACH AND EVERYONE OF OUR FRIENDS, FAMILY AND STRANGERS: THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS FOR YOUR PRAYERS, GENEROSITY AND KIND WORDS. ALL THE ADJECTIVES IN THE WORLD ARE NOT ENOUGH TO DESCRIBE OUR APPRECIATION AND LOVE FOR ALL OF YOU.
DINO AND MELISSA GERICKE****

 

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Updates

Updates

07/26/2014
by Melissa Gericke
We have been working with Case Managers and a home infusion company a lot lately. After a lot of work form' our Amazing Case Manager Megan we will be going home on Monday! =) RIght now I am doing "Room In" training where I am doing everything for Ronan like I would at home. It is fun and Ronan and I are making bookmarks with Ronan's foot prints for all the wonderful nurses and doctors who have been so amazing to us. Ronan in growing very well too. So well in fact that he is able to have Sat. & Sun. off of his Omegaven. His coloring has improved from the yellow jaundice color, and his beliruben couunt is slowly creeping down too. <3 Overall very good things happening right now. =)
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07/21/2014
by Melissa Gericke
Ronan is also able to enjoy tasting banana now. He is not able to eat spoonfuls but is able to taste a small amount which is very exciting. So far he enjoys bananas =)
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07/21/2014
by Melissa Gericke
So we have had some huge changes aand bitter sweet moments. First off, Ronan is now in the pediatric unit. He outgrew the NICU and has been transferred. It is nice in the Pediatric unit, took a few days to get used to it. Also, we have finally heard the doctors and case managers begin talking about being discharge soon. With this being said we now have a home infusion company that will be supplying his TPN ad Omegaven, as well as teaching us how to do his home care. Its amazing that we are finally going home as a family however it is bitter sweet. We were told his Omegaven would roughly be 50-100 dollars a day.... well we were just told it is going to be $110 per day and we need to be ready soon for it.. However this means instead of the original 36,000 a year we are now looking at 39,600 per year... I am a little worried since he may need it for 3 years if not more.... It is overwhelming and I honestly dont know what our family would do without all of your love, support and prayers. Everything you all do truly makes a difference and impacts our lives greatly. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It meeans the world to his dad and I. Thank you. 
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07/12/2014
by Melissa Gericke

Through tireless efforts of Dr. Bruce Reddix at the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Tucson Medical Center to get the FDA protocol in place, and through the generous donations from so many people, the purchase of Amegaven, a rare type of lipids based of omega and fish oils made in Germany, is not just a dream any more.  The first batch has been imported and administered with amazing results!


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07/05/2014
by Melissa Gericke
I love my son so so very much, just the thought of him makes me get teary eyed. It is such an overwhelming and amazing feeling watching them grow and being near and taking care of them. There is nothing that can compare to the feeling of having a child. After everything Ronan has gone through and seeing the little man he is turning into is beyond words. My heart is overflowing with all the blessings his dad and I have been granted. He is such a sweet natured boy. He is so smart too. When he is pulling your hair hard or being rough, all you have to say is ouch and he stops. Ronan is so kind hearted and funny, absolutely love my son. So very blessed
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06/27/2014
by Melissa Gericke
We just got some huge news about Ronan. First his belirubin count has gone up to 11.6 which is very high. That along with him throwing up more are the bad news. However good news is he is 6 months old today and has overcome many obstacles already. On top of this, they are moving him to pediatrics on Monday =) This means in roughly around 3 weeks, we may be going home as a family finally and doing his care ourselves at home <3
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06/18/2014
by Melissa Gericke
Tonight at Chick-Fil-A, they are doing a fundraiser for Ronan where 20% of all proceeds will go to him. Its from 5-8pm at the El Con location. Very excited to see everyone. Overwhelming feeling knowing there are so many people being so caring and supportive. Thank you, from the bottom of his dad's heart and mine. <3
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06/17/2014
by Melissa Gericke
Today we found out that Ronan's Omegaven Wasen't here, it was in Louisiana being processed. There was a miscommunication along the lines somewhere with pharmacist and doctors. However it is confirmed that it IS here now and I talked directly to the pharmacist. He wil be started on it Tonight with 36cc. He will be given that over 3 days then will be given the full 72cc dose. Very excited to see him respond to this new life saving lipid. Thank you everyone for your prayers and help saving our son's life!
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06/13/2014
by Melissa Gericke
Ronan has some scar tissue that has bullt up in his intestines which is causing the fluid to back up resulting in him throwing up periodically. They were planning on surgery but instead since its not completely blocked have decided to withhold the surgery. As of right now Ronan's Direct beliruben has incressed again and is now at 6.9 which is the highest it has been, also his organs have become swollen and inflamed causing his stomach to be distended. The Omegaven is here now, but in the process of being put into their computer system and labeled. Praying that tonight is the night he will be  starte on them but we are still not sure. Thank heavens for this miracle lipid and kind people like all of you saving our son. Praying they finished labeling and entering it into the computers so we can administer it to him tonight. 
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06/04/2014
by Melissa Gericke
Ronan has gone into a scanning procedure today to see whats going on in his intestines. He will be laid out on a board, strapped down and fed Barium from a bottle. Under an X-ray machine he will be maneuvered in order to see where the Barium goes and what is possibly happening in his intestines to try and explain him throwing up juices that are past his stomach. Once we know the results I will post another update. Also was told when Dr. Reddix comes back on Thursday he will discuss the Omegaven with us that should have already shipped and should be here soon.
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06/02/2014
by Melissa Gericke
Our big boy is a conundrum. He follows no patterns, nothing stays the same. We can do the exact thing with him day in and day out and even with no new variables he does things at random.. Ronan is sleeping now for a nap. He woke up at 7:30 this morning and so far since, has had no throw up. His continous feeds were stopped last night after yesterday him having thrown up 4 large times. Along with a lot of output when vented. They may be starting the continous feeds sometime today. Also they have scheduled another panel on him to see whats going on with his food. This way hopefully we can see why it goes into the intestine but then right back up into him throwing up. Also his total beliruben count has gone up from 6.3 to 8.8. Hoping it goes back down.. we are still waiting on the first batch of Omegaven to get here. All the loops Dr. Reddix has gone through seems to always keep getting longer. It is suppose to be here sometime this week, so hopefully it will get here soon and we can watch munchkins liver improve. They has also done another lab on him to see if they need to change his TPN liquid food incase he is lacking something he needs.  Other than all that, he is a smiley boy taking his well earned nap. 
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05/30/2014
by Melissa Gericke
Ronan is a happy boy this morning, when vented he had 60cc output from his belly and just threw up again, with another 85cc vented from his tummy right after. Not sure why he is having such high output today. Even so he is a happy boy, no matter how he is feeling he has a smile on his face. Praying he rest of the day goes very well for him. 

Also big news, he was on KVOA last night at 10pm. He is still posted on their website too. Ronan was so good, and it made us laugh when he looked up at me from his bombo and he had a big drool on his face during the interview. <3 KVOA was sso aamazing and helpful with getting his story out there. Thank you so very much to everyone who watched it. It means so much to us as a family having all your support and help towards his Omegaven Lipids. We couldnt have done this without you and please know we are humbled and so very blessed to have so many people from all over helping our son stay alive. 
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04/25/2014
by Melissa Gericke
I really think the nurses love Ronan and us. Dino and I are spending the night again at the hospital like we have been doing... only difference is... they hunted down a pull out bed for us. So, tonight's the first night we are actually spending the night literally IN the NICU Right in Ronan's room.  One very blessed and happy mama right here!!! I love TMC, this is my set hospital for Children
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04/22/2014
by Melissa Gericke
 Thank you EVERYONE for all the prayers, support and for the donations for Ronan's Omegaven! His direct bilirubin levels will fall and will have the time he needs to get better even more!  Thank you to everyone, no words can ever express the gratitude towards all of you.
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04/19/2014
by Melissa Gericke
Dino and My Ronan is now officially 11lbs 8oz  Growing so fast, love him so very much. He is having massive drooling going on with trying to nom nom anything he can find. He is picking things up and starting to shake stuff and play with toys. He is also able to bare his own weight for 20 secs straight only needing help balancing. He can hold himself up standing. Very strong legs. Ronan is such a wonderful son and a true blessing. So excited for Easter with him along with many more days to come. 
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04/09/2014
by Melissa Gericke
Absolutely love my son! Just got back from taking him outside walking the hospital grounds. He loves the smell of roses. The nurses even disconnected his feeding tube so he could go without the IV pole.
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04/07/2014
by Melissa Gericke
How can you carry your child, feel them with you 24-7 and then once you go through delivering them being apart? He is now 3 month old, with a serious condition that is hidden behind warm smiles and sweet little eyes. His chubby cheeks and alert mind a disguise over a medical condition robbing his liver. Doing my hardest to be patient, keeping my faith and trying to be strong for Ronan but when I'm away from him it's the worst and makes it several times worse. I trust God is here and working his miracle over Ronan, trying to be patient since he doesn't give miracles over night. Even if its years away, I believe Ronan will be healed. But until that day comes, these times apart get harder and harder.
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04/01/2014
by Melissa Gericke
Munchkin Update: Ronan is doing good again today and is tolerating his feeds well. Only rough thing so far is he gets a lot of gas built up in his tummy so we have to vent him quite often to help relieve pressure. He is still getting 3 bottles a day, with 2cc over an hour with a continuous feed. He is smiling and developing perfectly! =) He is such a happy baby boy
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03/31/2014
by Melissa Gericke
We got some great news this morning. Ronan is doing really good with his continuous feed of 1cc over an hour that they have increased it to 2cc. He is still not having formed stool however it has been more mucusy lately which is a big step forward still. We cannot thank everyone enough, it means so much to us for every single prayer, thought and donation towards his much needed lipids. We thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts and for those who have donated more than once to help him it is Extremely generous and its hard to form words of thanks to you all. We are staying faithful and alongside so many praying and helping him, we know he will make it. We believe he will be that miracle baby thanks to everyone who has helped to make this happen and continuing to help him in his fight <3 
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03/30/2014
by Melissa Gericke
Munchkin Update: Today has been a great day so far. Ronan's Dad and I were sick for almost 3 1/2 weeks which had us unable to visit Ronan. Was hard being away from him however thankfully we can safely say we can see him again. While his wonderful dad held him I was able to trim his nails since they had gotten very long. We have fed him and tidied up his little room in the NICU. Had some good news, today he has had more mucusy poopy diapers instead of pure liquid so we are very happy and hoping it continues into formed ones. He is smiling tons now, development right on track and beginning to bear his weight. Also the nurses are wondering if he is going to be teething soon since he is drooling a whole bunch. He is only 3 months but it is possible they say. Excited to see more improvement with him
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03/23/2014
by Melissa Gericke
On Saturday, March 22nd, we were allowed to take Ronan outside and sit with him in the NICU's porch area for a while. It was a beautiful day and Ronan listened to the birds while looking up at the blue sky. He loved being outside! 
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03/20/2014
by Melissa Gericke
Thank you again to all our generous donors, your support and prayers. We now have enough funds to purchase the first six months supply of lipids from Germany. Our little boy is growing and is becoming more precious by the day. May God bless him with health and happiness.
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03/15/2014
by Melissa Gericke
Had the privilege to spend time with Ronan today... what a blessing this litte boy is! Talked to Dr. Reddix and the hoops the hospital has to jump through to get the FDA protocol in place for the German lipids is inconceivable. It's a life-saving product and we look forward to the day (soon) it will arrive to help our grandson. His life depends on it! Thank you for your continued prayers and support! Ouma Elsie
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03/13/2014
by Melissa Gericke

My darling son. He is my world and love him beyond words. Pray the lipids can get here soon and he gets better. 


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03/09/2014
by Melissa Gericke
We have so much hope! Dr. Reddix has been in contact with the Children's Hospital in Boston and they assured him that the lipids we are getting from Germany is going to preserve Ronan's liver and help us buy the time his intestines need to heal. To everyone, thank you again for everything you do. It means the world to us.
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03/06/2014
by Melissa Gericke
Looked into Ronan's beautiful blue eyes tonight and he smiled at his grandma! It made my day!
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03/04/2014
by Melissa Gericke
I felt so blessed tonight. Had the opportunity to hold my beautiful grandson in my arms! He is truly one of God's most precious creations! Love him so much. Posted by Ouma Elsie
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03/03/2014
by Melissa Gericke
Munchkin Update: Right now little Ronan is asleep in his crib with the sound of rain playing. Just got done doing his cares, feeding him and burping him. He is still drinking 5cc of milk every 3 hours. However, he is no longer getting breast milk anymore. Lately he has been having projectile vomiting and is not absorbing the milk all that well right now. It is because of that, that my husband and I have asked if we can try a formula that is not milk based, called Neocate. We want to try something different to see if he has an intolerance to milk. Doesnt hurt to try, so thats what is new now. We are praying he does much better with the Neocate formula and really watching his liver for any more signs of it getting worse. Also we want to thank you all who have donated and all of your kind words and prayers. We are blessed to have so many peoples support during this really tough time.
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02/28/2014
by Melissa Gericke
Munchkin Update: Sadly we got some bad news about our Ronan. Yesterday the doctors decided since there was no blockage to try and start feeding him breast milk for the first time since his surgery. He is only allowed 5cc which is a tiny amount for a two month old but it is huge in his case. However it seems he is not tolerating the milk as of right now. He ended up having projectile throw up, off and on for a half hour. With this being said, the doctors want to keep trying with the 5cc for a little while longer just to see if it will take his body a little while to get used to it since he hasnt really been able to drink milk and have it go all the way through his system before. Our fingers are crossed and praying constantly that it may take his body a little while to get used to it. If not, then the doctors will order a non-dairy based formula to try with him to see if it will be absorbed and Ronan be able to fully keep it down. Once we find out more and if anything changes we will give another update, which, hopefully will be soon. Thank you everyone for your support, prayers and donations. It means more than words can describe to us. Every piece helps and we are praying for that miracle for him.
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02/27/2014
by Melissa Gericke
Good news - yesterday Ronan had an xray and they did not find any blockage! This is great news. Thanks to all of you who have already donated! 
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