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This fundraiser ended on 12/31/12

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The family and friends of Victoria Force are uniting to help raise money for medical and traveling expenses.Please show your support!

On September 4, 2009, Victoria Ava Force came into this world via emergency C-section 3 months premature, weighing only 1 pound and 9 ounces. She was only minutes old when she was intubated and put on a ventilator to keep her alive. Victoria’s lungs and little body were severely underdeveloped due to being born so early, her parents Jessica and John had some very difficult decisions to make in the upcoming months. At first the plan was to stick it out as long as possible through the intubation and hope that steroids would help to develop her lungs. However after three months of intubation the ENT doctor referred by the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) took her to the operating room and discovered Victoria had subglottic stenosis (narrowing of the airway) and suggested a tracheotomy surgery. Due to all these issues Victoria remained in the NICU until she "graduated" to the PICU at 5 months old. In order to ensure the proper care of her daughter, Jessica moved into the hospital to be with Victoria. It was then time for Victoria to have her second surgery which was to have a gastric tube inserted in her belly. After 6 long grueling months and a lot of training on how to take care of all of their daughter's medical needs, Jessica and John were finally able to bring their little baby girl home from the hospital. Victoria was discharged from the hospital on April 1, 2010. Although she was fit to go home, Victoria was in a very fragile state. Her vent settings were still significantly high and she could only tolerate being disconnected for a short period of time. Periodically throughout the day she would have to be disconnected from the vent for only seconds at a time to suction and clean her trach. Becoming a mother for the first time is hard as it is but Jessica spent her days literally keeping Victoria alive and catering to all of her special needs while John was hard at work trying to make ends meet. Thankfully, they had a nightly nurse so Jessica could try and get some sleep in order to be on the ball for the intense care that lie ahead of her the next day. As the months went by she began to grow stronger, her ventilator settings started to come down and so did the amount of time she had to be connected to her feeding machine. In August of 2011, Victoria was taken off her ventilator and has not looked back! After being off the ventilator for a few months, her parents decided it was time to head back to the hospital for a bronchoscopy , this would tell them the condition of her airway so they could start discussing decanulation (removing the trach tube from her neck). They had very high hopes and certainly were not prepared for what happened next. The ENT doctor told them that Victoria had a pinhole for an airway and was going to need Laryngotracheal Reconstruction surgery (surgery to widen the wind pipe). He continued to explain that since this surgery could affect Victoria’s breathing and speech for the rest of her life they should go to the best doctor in that field- the best was in Cincinnati Ohio. Things seemed like they were going so well and now they would have to go back into the hospital hundreds of miles away from home for a serious surgery. Jessica and John were devastated. After extensive research they found the doctor they were referred to truly is the best but the best would come at a very high price. The Force family took their first trip to Ohio so Victoria can undergo testing that will enable the doctors to perform this surgery. On November 19th Jess, John and Victoria will make their second trip to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio for what they hope to be her final surgery to widen her airway and remove her trach. This will require Victoria to undergo a four hour surgery and remain in a medically induced coma for up to 10 days to allow her to start to heal. She will then be woken up and be moved to a rehab where she will go through withdrawals from the medications that kept her asleep for ten days. Once her withdrawals subside which should take a few days she will then be discharged. They will have to stay local for a few days for one last scope to make sure the area is healing properly before returning home. The length of this trip will be about three weeks in total. The Force's will have to fly back to Ohio for two more follow up visits before they can follow up regularly with their ENT in New York. As you can see, the past three years have been quite the day to day struggle for the Force’s, they did not get to experience all that new parents take for granted like being able to hold your newborn which they weren't able to do until she was three months old, walking your baby around the house from room to room, bottle feeding your baby, waking up in the middle of the night because the baby is simply crying, not because her vent alarm is going off, hearing your baby say Mama or Dada for the first time, and much more. All they have wanted from day one was a normal life for Victoria, and now she has that chance. Despite all she has been through Victoria is a sweet, VERY happy little girl with an adorable personality. The families insurance does not cover certain medical costs , nor traveling and lodging expenses. Please donate today and help give Victoria her voice and help ease the stress of finances on her family. Our hopes are with this reconstruction surgery Victoria will be able to speak and thank all of you in her own voice one day. If you cannot donate, we do ask you keep Victoria and the Force family in your prayers.
Thank you in advance and for reading Victoria’s story!
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