Help Avie Fight Against and Raise Awareness for CHD

For: Avelyn Stahlman-Pickel
Nashville, TN
Organizer: Kaitlyn Johnson
$7,985
of $15,000 goal.
Raised by 94 donors
53% Complete
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The Story

Avelyn Marie is a fighter! She is the strongest person I've ever met and she is only 2.5 months old, and weighing in at 10lbs.
Sean, Somer and Avie, as we all call her, have been living at Vanderbilt Medical Center since Avie was born. It has been very hard on their family to be away from home and work for this long and there is no hope in returning home anytime soon. They have an amazing support system, but there is only so much family and close friends can do. Somer and Sean are not ones to ask for help and this is why I am asking for your help. Avie needs support, not only to help this beautiful family pay for the exorbitant amount of medical bills they will have, but also to help spread awareness to others about the pain CHD causes. One in every 100 babies is born with CHD. Every little bit helps and if you cant support monetarily, helping to create awareness about CHD would be amazing. Below is an in depth analysis of Avie's condition, summarized by Somer, who is a medical professional. Also, I included a link to the blog that Somer updates regularly on Avelyn's struggle.

Avelyn Marie was diagnosed at 25 weeks gestation with pulmonary atresia with a ventricular septal defect, which is a congenital heart defect. Without surgical intervention this type of heart defect is fatal. She was born at Vanderbilt Medical Center on December 17th, 2015. When she was 5 days old she went for her first open heart surgery, during which her surgeon came across more complicated anatomy than he was expected. During the couple weeks after this surgery Avelyn had two very close calls signaling her little heart was failing. She went in for a cardiac cathertization to explore and draw a blue print of her complicated cardiac anatomy. It was hoped that she could wait several months between her first open heart surgery and her second more complex sugery. This was not the case after Avelyn contracted endocarditis, an infection that further damaged her already fragile heart. The damage from the endocarditis sent her into a very tenuous state where she again started to show signs of heart and respiratory failure. After a couple of weeks of antibiotic therapy it was back to the OR for a very dangerous and risky surgery. The surgery lasted 16 hours and Avelyn all but died on the table. She only survived due to a machine called ECMO, which is essentially a portable heart lung bypass machine. After about 5 days the ECMO was taken off and Avie's heart has been doing it's best to heal. However she has since run into complications. These include early kidney failure and others. Her struggle is expected to continue for some time to come. 


http://fightchd.blogspot.com/

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on February 23, 2017

Posted on February 23, 2017

Hi Everyone, its been a while since I have updated on Avelyn and I apologize. Its been hectic lately with one complication after the other. But, as most of you know, through all of your thoughts and prayers and the doctors capable hands at Vanderbilt, Avie had a successful procedure yesterday placing a stent in her occluded SVC. She still has a long road ahead but is already showing signs of improvement just in her appearance. Please continue to help us shed light on this awful disease. As Somer said, "Research saves lives, limits complications and sometimes prevents open heart surgery. With more research the world would see more miracles."

Posted on June 13, 2016

Posted on June 13, 2016

Avelyn is continuing to make great strides. She is seriously a wonder baby! She is currently having a hard time with withdrawals as she is being weaned off some of her sedatives. Some of the weanings may even take months. Right now we are really needing some prayers for pee and renal recovery. They won't really know anything about her kidney recovery for another 6 months or so. Please continue to help support and pray for Avie whenever you can. She is being called "The Light of Vandy's PCICU!" 

Posted on May 23, 2016

Posted on May 23, 2016

From Somer: "My love ???? still CPAPing, although her settings have needed to be increased. She's just so much more sedated now that ET tube irritation isn't an issue. Hopefully the team can get her in a better spot with sedation meds and we can really see what she's made of. Thank you all for the love and support!"

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