An Indiana Family Finds a Miracle With The Help of COTA
Christmas 2007 was one of the worst days Jessica McCullough and Tom Williams of Gosport, Indiana, can remember. While Sarah, their perfect, healthy six-month-old baby girl, was celebrating her first Christmas, Sarah's twin brother, Bryce, was dying.
The McCullough twins were born on June 26, 2007. Sarah was healthy but Bryce was diagnosed in utero with gastrochisis.His bowels were protruding outside his abdomen. A few hours after Bryce was born, Jessica and Tom were told only 10% of his bowel could be saved.
During his first six months of life, Bryce endured many surgeries while his family waited anxiously each time to hear the outcome. But the outcomes were never encouraging. As if that weren't enough, Bryce developed cirrhosis of the liver due to the central line feedings that kept him nourished.
Christmas 2007 was a sad period for the entire family. Bryce was failing fast, bleeding profusely and his only hope was an immediate organ transplant. With their baby dying, the family left Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. They travelled to Chicago to meet with the transplant team at the University of Illinois Medical Center to discuss the possibility of a living donor transplant from either Bryce's mom or his grandmother.
The papers were signed but more bad news. The hospital in Chicago wanted a guarantee of payment since the family was from out-of-state and their insurance might not cover the transplant. That's when the McCulloughs reached out to the Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA) for help.
According to Jessica, "When faced with my child's possible death, COTA's staff members were a calming force. You're not just dealing with losing your baby, you are also facing losing your home and everything you have. COTA made us realize we could make it through this tragedy and that gave us hope."
In a miraculous turn of events, donor organs became available in January and baby Bryce received a stomach, liver, pancreas and intestine transplant at Riley on January 16, 2008. The organs were the perfect size. The doctors were able to close his abdomen which greatly reduced the risk of infection.
"COTA provided hope when we felt like all hope was lost. When we received the devastating news our insurance might not cover Bryce's transplant expenses, COTA was there to pick us up and to reassure us we would get the money needed to save Bryce's life," said Jessica.
This Christmas, just three years after their darkest days, Bryce is talking and giving his twin sister Sarah a run for her money. The holidays will be lively this year for the McCullough family. Jessica and Tom will welcome the chaos.
The Children's Organ Transplant Association is a national charity that provides fundraising assistance to transplant families. COTA's priority is to assure that no child or young adult is denied a transplant or excluded from a transplant waiting list due to lack of funds. 100% of all funds raised in honor of transplant patients are used for transplant-related expenses.
For more information about COTA or to find a COTA family in your area, please email email@example.com.
Related World News News