Eli's Fourth Chamber

For: Jason and Tanya Wedehase
Fresno, CA
Organizer: Bonnie Redfern
Eli's Fourth Chamber (Jason and Tanya Wedehase)
$15,803
of $30,000 goal
52% Complete
Raised by 69 donors

The Story

Eli was diagnosed with HLHS (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome) during his mother’s second trimester of pregnancy. HLHS is a Congenital Heart Defect that causes babies to be born with a missing or poorly developed fourth chamber. Even before Eli’s birth in February 2009, surgeons prepared for his first heart surgery which was performed when he was 2 days old. Eli underwent a second heart surgery again at age 2.

On January 14th, 2016, Eli underwent his third open heart surgery at Valley Children’s Hospital in central California. The surgical team spent the first eight hours cutting through the scar tissue from Eli’s previous surgeries. Then the team began the tedious and high risk task of making repairs to Eli’s heart to allow him to function with all four chambers. The surgery lasted over 24 hours before the surgeons felt they could close up Eli’s chest and send him to Pediatric ICU.

After many weeks, Eli remains in PICU. He has undergone additional procedures while in PICU to support his healing. He will continue to stay at Valley Children’s for an unknown period, as he continues intensive physical therapy, respiratory therapy, and independent school. Needless to say, Eli is a brave little boy.

The reality of Eli’s medical needs over the last several weeks have been stressful for his parents, Jason and Tanya Wedehase. They have watched the medical staff respond when Eli coded in the early days after surgery. They have made decisions on a daily basis to facilitate Eli’s progress. To do this, they have been by Eli’s side each day, staying on the hospital grounds in a borrowed RV. They have been away from their other two children during the week. Eli has an older sister and a younger brother, who have been staying with family since the day of the surgery so they can attend their neighborhood school.

The funds Jason received from the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) for the first few weeks covered the cost of mortgage, utilities, and routine monthly obligations. Although the FMLA allows for a 12-week leave, it does not provide for pay during the entire time.

At this time, Eli has been in PICU for almost two months. The enormous medical bills which will leave a tremendous burden on the family's finances. Additionally, Jason and Tanya have incurred many costs for meals while staying on site and gasoline as they travel to visit their Eli's siblings. There is the loss of income during the extended time off for Jason while Eli is hospitalized. Once he is released, he will need continual care for life.

As close family friends, we are creating this compassionate fundraiser to give others the opportunity to support the Wedehase family. We are hope you will consider joining us to support Eli's recovery. Your donations will:

  • help pay for Eli's continued support and medical needs when he is released (he has a tracheotomy and will need a ventilator at home)
  • help chip away at the astronomical medical bills from this surgery and recovery
  • subsidized Jason's income on the occasional days he needs to take off to continue to be present with Eli while he is hospitalized, and support when he is released
  • provide for the additional costs for meals, gasoline, and other costs incurred while Jason and Tanya stay in an RV on hospital grounds
If you choose to mail a donation rather than give through this site, please mail your donation to: Eli's New Heart, c/o New Path Center, POB 874, Kingsburg, CA 93631-0874

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on May 10, 2016

Posted on May 10, 2016

Check out Eli in the news, and learn how you can join us in the Mended Little Hearts Superhero Walk/Run at Woodward Park on Sunday, May 22nd.
http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/community/clovis-news/article76536537.html

Posted on April 6, 2016

Posted on April 6, 2016

And our heart hero is finally home!!! Prayers of praise for God's faithfulness through this journey. Prayers for continued strength and wisdom for Jason and Tanya as they continue Eli's care at home. Prayers for a softened heart and strong lungs. Continue to donate to help with the mounting medical bills and home care medical equipment costs. You are all amazing ~ thanks for working so hard, Eli!

Posted on April 1, 2016

Posted on April 1, 2016

We have a HUGE PRAISEfor Team Eli! So many of you have followed Eli's journey through his third heart surgery to create a functional fourth chamber. You know how hard he has worked with respiratory, physical, and occupational therapies to regain his strength. After 76 days in PICU, Eli has moved to the rehabilitation unit at Children's Hospital of Central California (CHCC). The staff at CHCC has done their jobs well. Eli has been cleared to go home in the next few days with his tracheotomy, a ventilator, oxygen, a tracheotomy suction unit, and an oxygen saturation monitor. Jason and Tanya have been trained to provide the continual medical care for Eli on all of this equipment. They are so ready to move out of the trailer and head home to be a family. 

We also have a HUGE NEED for Team Eli! Instead of bringing Eli home this weekend, Jason and Tanya are fighting the insurance companies to obtain the life safety medical equipment Eli needs to literally live outside the hospital setting. YES, YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY. Tanya told me last night that Kaiser has denied coverage on some medical equipment which Eli's doctors require for discharge. The bottom line, Kaiser is forcing Jason and Tanya to purchase Eli's required life safety medical equipment on their own. Additionally, both of the denied pieces of equipment have consumable parts that will need to be continually purchased "out of pocket" for replacement. 

Here is the HUGE SOLUTION for Team Eli! Jason and Tanya need our financial support now all the more! This fundraising page was started to provide for medical costs. No one could have imagined that Kaiser would literally deny coverage of life safety equipment Eli needs. Please consider becoming part of the solution. HELP US REACH OUR GOAL OF $30,000.Give whatever you are able. Give again if you are able. Share this post with others who may give what they are able. Give not only to cover the mounting medical costs, but to provide some relieve for Jason and Tanya in the stress of meeting these bills as they bring their heart hero home in the coming days.

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