$3,941 of $5,000
37 donations

This fundraiser ended on 05/17/11

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Cody's family is asking that everyone comes together to help this little one get the specialized care he so desperately needs!

As some of you may or may not know, our little Cody has not been well. Since he was just a month or so old he has had a problem choking when he eats. Around the time that he was eight months old we noticed he was having these choking episodes with much more frequency and they were becoming more severe. It got to the point where we were afraid to even give him a bottle without having the phone ready to call 911.
As he got older and began trying new foods, we began taking him to therapy once a week to strengthen the muscles in his mouth and to strengthen his little tongue. After a horrifying episode during one of his sessions, in which Cody choked on a piece of bread and turned blue, his medical team decided it was time for a Swallow Study.
Cody did well during his testing, but the speech therapist who was monitoring the test noticed that Cody's esophagus didn't seem to be moving quite right, he rarely chewed and had a lot of acid reflux going on. Aside from those observations, Cody had Oral Dysphagia. Those findings led us to an Upper GI Study that ruled out some really bad stuff, but Cody started having new symptoms. He was having difficulty breathing and had to be on nebulizer treatments, was increasingly grumpy, was gassy and had a very full looking belly that hurt so badly sometimes that he couldn't give us hugs. It wasn't long until he slowed down on his eating and his doctor decided it was time for a trip to Denver Children's Hospital.
In Denver, Cody met a Pediatric Gastroenterologist and Pulmonary doctor who read his records and checked him in for several more tests.
The results were confusing, though, because Cody had been on a medication that was supposed to help with motility and we knew it did SOMETHING for him- we just weren't sure what it was helping with. The doctors decided to do a Gastric Emptying Study. It didn't take long to get the results. In the time it takes the average stomach to empty, Cody's stomach had only emptied 7% of its contents. The medication had been helping his little belly move. Unfortunately, it had some nasty side effects and he can't go back on it.
We soon got the results of a tube they placed in his nose for another test, as well. Cody has a pretty big reflux problem, too. Since his belly is so slow to empty, his acid has no place to go but up. No wonder he is so grumpy. The constant flow of acid is also a huge trigger for the breathing problems he is having and most likely the main cause of his asthma.
Cody is currently diagnosed with severe Delayed Gastric Emptying. We don't know why or what (if anything) is causing it or if it includes other parts of his digestive system. Motility Disorders are such a specialized group of disorders that there are only a handful of children's hospitals in the country have the equipment, training and ability to fully evaluate them. Often they cannot pinpoint the cause and treatments are extremely limited- many times it comes down to surgeries and lifestyle modifications to try to manage the symptoms. In at least 60% of all cases there is no known cause.
In order to fully understand Cody's condition, why he has it and what all the options are, as well as how to care for him properly- we need to take him to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to see one of the very few Motility Specialists in the country. Our trip is expected to take place this June and last anywhere from one week on.
This January Brian finally got back to work after a year off and on of unemployment and we are still coping with the expenses of Jacob’s special needs, and now the newly emerging needs of Cassidy. We are in no way prepared for the financial burden this will add, but we clearly cannot compromise Cody's care at all.
We are asking that our friends, family and anyone who is able, come together to help us- both financially and spiritually. Monetary donations will go towards gas, lodging, food and typical travel expenses. If you care to donate, please do so at:
or feel free to send a check directly to 1003 Paisley Dr., Belgrade, MT 59714 (Brian & Emily Gwinn). We need the finances to get us there and keep us going even when we can't work due to surgery or whatever the Lord has planned for us; and we need your prayers and support to keep us strong as we try to manage this difficult and unfamiliar situation. We want so badly for our baby to feel better- he has brought us so much joy and is truly our little sunshine!
Thank you all so much for taking the time to read our story and for doing what you can for our fundraiser! Please feel free to copy this and send it on to others who may be interested or to post Cody’s story to any social networking sites you may frequent. The more people who pray and help, the better!

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