Meet Bryce David Vanderpool, born on July 18, 2017.
Bryce was diagnosed with Critical Aortic Stenosis (aortic valve too small for proper function) when his mother was 24 weeks along in her pregnancy. This diagnosis was confirmed at birth, and it was discovered that Bryce may have suffered a heart attack in utero, causing a blood clot to develop in the left ventricle of his heart, which prevents it from pumping as it should, and supplying adequate blood flow to the rest of his body.
Treatment so far has included surgery to determine if a heart bypass was a viable option (it isn’t), medication to dissolve the clot (not effective), pulmonary artery bands to restrict blood flow to the lungs (too dangerous, as this resulted in the blood clot breaking up and going to his brain, which caused several small strokes and accompanying seizures, but thankfully without permanent brain damage), and blood thinners (limited success, but not enough for the damaged heart to keep up with the proper supply of blood to the body). Now, at two months of age, Bryce has been diagnosed with heart failure, and his doctors have determined that the remaining treatment option is a heart transplant.
His is an extremely rare case and there are no documented cases for his doctors to refer to refer to for treatment, but this little slugger has been through the wringer and he’s still swinging, so his medical team and his family are 100% dedicated to the heart transplant option as his best shot at a normal, healthy life.
His family is just starting the transplant process, which means that Bryce will be transported to Stanford Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, CA early next week (week of September 25th). His parents, Brad and Brie Vanderpool, live 120 miles away and will have to commute in shifts during the workweek so they can work in order to retain their health insurance coverage, and to care for Bryce’s big brother Braxton.
They have applied for a room in the Ronald McDonald House for families of child patients, but there is a waiting list and the best next available option for them in Palo Alto is discounted rates at local hotels, which will very quickly become a huge expense. Depending on how long it takes for a heart to become available, there will be times when his parents will have to take time off work unpaid so they can be with him for specific procedures and surgeries. There will also be a need for help with co-pays for medical bills and medication, commuting costs, etc., which are bound to arise along the way.
Although Brad & Brie don’t know how much Bryce’s medical bills will be at this point, they would like to set a fundraising goal of $75,000, and hope that the process will go quickly and smoothly so nowhere near that amount is actually needed.
The have committed that any money that isn't used to be donated to the Stanford Children's Heart program, to help continue its mission to research childhood heart disease and hopefully find a cure.
Bryce and his family have already proven they are fighters, but they need our help. Please pitch in and help now with whatever you can spare. Thank you!