$1,300 of $75,000
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This fundraiser ended on 12/02/12

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The family of Zoey Eckert is uniting to raise money to offset the medical expenses from her multiple operations and hospital stays.

Zoey was born on December 4, 2011, at 31 weeks making her 9 weeks premature. She weighed 2 lbs 13 oz. Zoey was born with esophageal atresia with distal tracheoesophageal fistula, which means the upper and lower halves of the esophagus were not connected to each other and the lower half was attached to the trachea.

On December 6 Zoey had her first surgery to correct her esophagus. The surgery went very well, in fact she is believed to be the smallest baby in the country to have the surgery in a minimally invasive way. While Zoey was recovering from this procedure the doctors found that she had a heart murmur, which is common in premature babies and it usually closes on its own. However, Zoey's murmur was not allowing her lungs to work properly and she was having alot of difficulty with breathing. On December 29 Zoey had her second surgery to close the murmur. After a six week stay in the NICU and her first two surgeries, Zoey was finally able to come.

Zoey adjusted very well to being home and the first few weeks were uneventful. She required a monthly shot called synagsis to protect her from infection. During one of her doctor appointments the pediatrician noticed a secral dimple and referred us to a neurosurgeon. There are only two neurosurgeons in our area neither are covered under our insurance. When we met the doctor he noticed a bump on Zoey's head running down the middle of her forehead. He decided to address both issues at the same time by doing a CT scan of her head and an MRI of her full spine.

The CT scan revealed that Zoey had metopic craniosynostosis, which means the front suture of her skull had fused too early and was restricting her brain growth. This is a very serious problem that needed to be corrected immediately. On June 14 Zoey had her third surgery. During this surgery the surgeons opened her head and removed the portion of her skull that was fused. Because Zoey was still young enough her skull will grow and close the gap. Until her skull grows in she will be wearing a helmet to ensure that it grows in correctly.

The MRI of Zoey's spine showed that she has a tethered spinal cord. This means that her spinal cord is being pulled down farther than it is suppose to be, which is causing tension. Recently we found out it is also causing scoliosis. Zoey has a 22° curve in 75% of her spine. Due to the new development of scoliosis the surgeon wants to procede with a surgery to release the tension as soon as possible. This will require another 4 day stay in the hospital.

For the past 8 months we have been attempting to pay down the medical debt. It is becoming more difficult as the expenses keep adding up. The hospital and most of the doctors are located just over an hour from our home which adds to the financial burden.

Thank you for all of your support and donations. We appreciate all of the contributions, thoughts and prayers.

If you have any questions or would like to contact the family you can send an email to
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