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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tough Times - A local little girl's story.

People go through tough times. It happens to us all. A local family is going through something tough right now though, and it has been brought to my attention.

The Chavis Family is Chasidy and Cedrick, and their three children: Jayden and Makayla (7 year old twins) and Adalynn (just turned 1). They live in Greensboro. Jayden and Makayla are in Guilford County Schools.

Makayla is having another brain surgery on Friday. Yes, that means this is not her first, not even her second, brain surgery. Not only is the surgery stressful for the family, but Cedrick works two jobs and has missed multiple days recently due to Makayla’s doctor visits and surgery prep – and will miss at least 2 more this week and probably more in the near future. Makayla has been having trouble with headaches, related to her previous shunt placement. She's been to countless doctor's appointments, and gone through medical procedures I hope I never have to face. Some of the Chavis’ friends are trying to help raise money for the family, so they can focus on being with their daughter and spending time with her before, during, and after the surgery. A GoFundMe site has been established (http://www.gofundme.com/2jiuu4), and an online Facebook auction is being put together through Bows N More Bowtique (https://www.facebook.com/BowsNMoreBowtique).  Items will be posted for sale, with a minimum starting bid, and the auction will be open to those who wish to purchase/bid on an item. All money raised will go directly to the family, to help with food, medical bills, travel expenses, childcare for the other two kids, and whatever else they may need. Meals are being arranged as well.

Why am I posting this here? Right now – some friends of the Chavis family are seeking local businesses and crafty people to contribute an item (or items) for donation to the auction. All money raised will go directly to the family. I know we have many talented people here, and I know we are all connected to even more talented and crafty people. I also know money is tight. I just keep thinking – what if it was my child? Would my friends help? Would they make an effort to reach out to others and help? I would hope so – and that is why I am sharing this information today. I think the simple fact that so many people are reading Makayla’s story and sending her good healing thoughts is enough to make a small difference.  Contributing, when possible, will directly help and benefit the family as they they watch their daughter go into yet another brain surgery. So please, if you are able, consider donating an item to the Facebook auction for Makayla Chavis. If you aren’t able to donate, consider bidding on an item. If you would rather contribute directly, consider using the GoFundMe site linked above. If you aren't able to donate money right now, all I am asking is to please keep this little girl in your thoughts as she faces another brain surgery. 

Contact Jackie via Bows N More Bowtique at BowsNMoreBowtique@yahoo.com  or Vanessa at vanessa.k.emerson@facebook.com with donations and/or questions.

For all auction items, they will need:

  • The name of the person or business donating
  • A description of the item
  • The item's value
  • Requested starting bid
  • If the item needs to be shipped or if someone can pick it up locally
  • Any other terms/conditions 

The auction will start at noon on Friday, April 19 and end on Saturday, April 27 at 10:00 pm EST. It will be held on Facebook at Bows N More Bowtique. Items will need to be submitted by Wenesday, April 17 in order to make sure photos and info is ready to be posted.

Thank you for reading this post, and thank you for keeping little Makayla in your thoughts as she goes into brain surgery this week. Thank you on behalf of the Chavis family for keeping them in your thoughts as they prepare to send their daughter and sister into brain surgery this week. And thank you on behalf of the people who know the Chavis family, who love Makayla, and are trying to do everything they can to help this family out during a tough time.

We’ve all faced tough times. When it is your child, I can only imagine the fear, the hope, and the love. Please share this story. Please help Makayla. Thank you.

Here’s some info on Makayla, provided by her mom Chasidy:

Makayla, twin "B", is a surviving micro-preemie who was born with a class IV (worst possible) brain hemorrhage at 25 weeks gestation. Makayla spent close to 6 months in NICU and faced many surgeries. She is now 7.5 years old with cerebral palsy and suffering from Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt malfunction. Her VP shunt was placed in 2007 when her third ventriculostomy surgery from birth failed. Ventriculoperitoneal shunting is surgery to relieve increased pressure inside the skull due to excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) on the brain (hydrocephalus). 
This procedure is done in the operating room under general anesthesia. It takes about 1 1/2 hours. 
The child's hair behind the ear is shaved off. A surgical cut in the shape of a horseshoe (U-shape) is made behind the ear. Another small surgical cut is made in the child's belly.
A small hole is drilled in the skull. A small thin tube called a catheter is passed into a ventricle of the brain. 
Another catheter is placed under the skin behind the ear and moved down the neck and chest, and usually into the abdominal (peritoneal) cavity. Sometimes, it goes to the chest area. The doctor may make a small cut in the neck to help position the catheter.
A valve (fluid pump) is placed underneath the skin behind the ear. The valve is attached to both catheters. When extra pressure builds up around the brain, the valve opens, and excess fluid drains out of it into the belly or chest area. This helps decrease intracranial pressure. 
The valves in newer shunts can be programmed to drain more or less fluid from the brain. Makayla does not have a programmable shunt at this time. 
In hydrocephalus, there is a buildup of fluid of the brain and spinal cord (cerebrospinal fluid or CSF). This buildup of fluid causes higher than normal pressure on the brain. Too much pressure, or pressure that is present too long, will damage the brain tissue.
A shunt helps to drain the excess fluid and relieve the pressure in the brain. 
Makayla will need to lie flat for 24 hours after the shunt is placed. The usual stay in the hospital is 3 to 4 days. The doctor will check vital signs and neurological status often. She will get medication for pain by IV along with fluids and antibiotics. 
Outlook (Prognosis):
Shunt placement is usually successful in reducing pressure in the brain. But if hydrocephalus is related to other conditions, such as hemorrhage, these conditions could affect the prognosis. The severity of hydrocephalus present before surgery will also affect the outcome. 
Possible risks of ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement are:
  • Blood clot or bleeding in the brain
  • Brain swelling
  • The shunt may stop working and fluid will begin to build up in the brain again.
  • The shunt may become infected.
  • Infection in the brain
  • Damage to brain tissue
  • Seizures

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