When I created this blog over a year ago now, it was to share our journey of sweet Kayleigh to family and friends. I never expected our journey to go down the road it did, but when we were in need of help, you ALL were there for us. You helped us stay strong when we were weak. You helped us laugh when we were crying. You helped us learn when we had so many questions. You helped us grow in our faith when we felt lost and you helped us financially when our life was falling apart.
Since Kayleigh has made her journey to Heaven, I have been thinking of ways to help others who are out there just as you all have helped us. I know that a little bit goes a long way and when we all stick together to help those in need, we can accomplish so much. We want to continue doing God's will by helping others and I would like to share with you sweet Jessica's story.
Along our own journey, I met a wonderful family who is in need of our help. Little Jessica reminds me so much of Kayleigh, it isn't funny. She too was not supposed to survive the pregnancy and she too has been through so many operations including open heart surgery. She too is a miracle baby and she continues to beat all the odds. After Jessica lost one of her kidneys, her remaining Kidney may only last another year or two, but the doctors are not even sure of that.
If Jessica could write me a letter and tell me about herself, this is what she would say...
My name Jessica I am 33 months old. Wow I am almost 3. I am the youngest of three. I have renal dysplaysia, chronic kidney disease, renal failure, asd, vsd, strabismus, extropia, g-tube fed, reflux, increased pulmonary markings, globally delayed, static encephalopathy, possible seizures, tremors, microcephaly, failure to thrive, elevated liver enzymes, polysplenia/ asplenia syndrome, vascular instability,non specific autonomic nervous system dysfunction, along with many other things the doctors are not able to give answers to.
The doctors say that I am going to be different and and my mom and dad say that is ok because that is the way God made me. When I was just two weeks old my mom had to take me to the hospital because my regular doctor and a GI doctor were really concerned about me and that I was not gaining weight and still losing weight. That was really scary for my mom and dad as for me I didn’t know what to think because I was so young.
Ever since I was two weeks old I had to be in the hospital several times. I have also had to have open heart surgery when I was just 7 months old to have 3 holes in my heart repaired and then just when I was about 10 months old I had to have another surgery and they had to take my left kidney out. I only have one kidney now and it is not working or growing as it should so I will have to have a kidney transplant. The doctors are hoping that my kidney will last another 1-2 years but for it to do that I have to keep it happy and healthy. I have to eat good, grow, be strong and stay healthy. It is hard sometimes now that I am trying to eat more as there are some foods that my brother and sister eat that I want, but I cant have.
Another thing about me is that I am very delayed in talking. I can understand a lot of things, but I am just not able to talk much. I say about 5 words very well now. I still get very frustrated as there are many times that I am trying to say something but I can't or when I do talk, people cannot understand me. I get so mad. I can understand so much but I just can't say it. Mommy and daddy have taken me to see a neurologist not just for this but also for the tremors that I get. The doctors say it is because my brain is small and it is not growing as it should also it is because I have some brain damage. But I don't let that stop me. I go to Occupational Therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy and feeding therapy. Things may be a lot harder for me but it just makes me be a stronger person.
I am growing now slowly, but growing. I am walking and playing. I love to watch my baby praises and just have quiet time with mommy and daddy, but I also like being outside and playing or just swinging in my swing and being a typical toddler. I love animals, but I don’t like them too close though. I have had some really hard times in my first 2 years of life but mommy, daddy and all of our family and friends have been wonderful. Everyone says that I am a fighter and I have many battles ahead of me but I am bound and determined to prove to everyone that I am going to do better than what they think.
Everyone says I am a miracle and an amazing little girl and I must say that they are right. Mommy and daddy say that I may not understand it now but I have an amazing spirit about me. I may have many battles ahead of me but I know that I am not alone.
Now that you have wiped away your tears, just as I did from reading that, the Cross's need our help in any way possible. Stephanie (Jessica's Mom) gave me a link to Children's Organ Transplant Association, the non profit organization who set up a page for Jessica to allow anyone to help her reach her financial goal to receive this kidney transplant. To help, go to: COTA-JessicaCross
From our experience, I know a little bit goes a long way, so if there is anything you can do to help this sweet girl and their family, please help. Whether you can help financially (at the link above) or if you can offer support to the family through their carepage site at JessicaCross, it would be such a blessing.