I have been a volunteer, supporter and board member of World Pediatric Project for many years. World Pediatric Project's mission to provide life-saving surgeries to children continues even in the midst of the pandemic. Occasionally there are urgent cases that arise suddenly, and Baby D from St. Lucia is one of those cases.
Baby D was born in November with an unexpected congenial defect - a tracheoesophageal fistula. Tracheoesophageal fistula is a connection between the esophagus and the trachea, which are not normally connected. Congenital TEFs are associated with multiple life-threatening complications, including recurrent pneumonia, lung injury or abcess, acute respiratory distress syndrome, poor nutrition, respiratory failure, and even death. Therefore, Baby D requires urgent surgical intervention to correct the malformation, a procedure that is not available to him in St. Lucia.
The WPP network has gone into action to create a Christmas miracle for Baby D and his loving family! Dr. David Lanning, pediatric general surgeon at CHoR/VCU and WPP medical volunteer will lead his care. We are also grateful that many have stepped up to offer housing options for his mom, while Baby D is in the NICU. In addition to securing safe and supportive housing, there will be other expenses related to bringing him and his mother to Richmond, and many have expressed interest in donating to support these costs, as WPP works to provide care for him and other babies whose cases arise urgently. We have an incredibly generous donor who has offered to match every donation up to $5,000 - I'd love to meet that goal and contribute $10,000 total for WPP to meet this precious family's needs.
Baby D is set to arrive in Richmond in the next week - let's help create a Christmas miracle for this darling baby boy!
Dec 15 Update: Danzel and his mother arrived this past weekend to Richmond after a challenging and stressful journey. Upon arrival, Danzel was assessed by the VCU NICU team and found to be in surprisingly good health considering his condition. As such, he was able to receive surgery TODAY and I'm thrilled to share it was successful! Please keep him and his family in your thoughts as he heals, recovers and now learns to feed by mouth.