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I would like to introduce you a baby girl named Jaia Jamise Parker, my great niece who in her one year of life has faced more health trials and tribulations than most adults have faced in a lifetime.
When my niece Sa’Bria was five months pregnant with Jaia, an ultrasound screening revealed that she was going to be giving birth to a daughter who has a very rare heart defect called Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS) with Tricuspid Atresia that would cause her to have half a functioning heart. Since receiving the news, Sa’Bria, her husband Joshua, along with their supportive parents, carefully planned for Jaia’s arrival closely, with many doctors and specialists near by. The plan was that once Jaia was born she would have to undergo a series of three surgeries up to the age of three to correct her heart anatomy and function.
Jaia was born on February 11, 2016 at 1:50pm, weighing 7 pounds and 6 ounces, and the moment she was introduced to her parents, she instantly displayed her strong, resilient, and loving personality.
At one week old, Sa’Bria and Joshua were informed that Jaia’s coronary arteries were underdeveloped and therefore dependent on her right ventricle which was non-functioning. Therefore, Jaia was in need of a heart transplant as soon as possible in order to prevent her heart from slowly deteriorating and causing her to eventually have a heart attack sometime in her life. After being placed on the transplant list on March 2, 2016, due to the severity of her condition, Jaia received a heart transplant within two days. After receiving her new heart, Jaia has had successful monthly heart biopsies and cardiology follow-up visits over the past year, but on March 22, 2017, her flawless track record was interrupted.
On this day, Jaia and her parents headed to her regular heart biopsy appointment, and after the doctors checked her vitals, Jaia’s temperature came back 101.4 F; she had an unexpected fever. This was an immediate cause for her doctors to cancel her biopsy and order a chest x-ray as a precaution. The x-ray results showed that Jaia had a Rhinovirus Infection and Pneumonia of her left lung. Needless to say, baby Jaia was immediately admitted to the hospital. Since being admitted, Jaia has been at the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at New York Presbyterian where the doctors are fervently treating her pneumonia and heart transplant; her discharge is indefinite as of now.
Jaia’s parents, Sa’Bria and Joshua live in a one income household since Sa’Bria, is a full time mom who also cares for their two and a half year old son Josiah. Her husband, Joshua, works in the home service industry, specializing in plumbing and HVAC services, but since Sa’Bria is needed by Jaia’s side at the hospital almost daily, Joshua stays at home to care for Josiah while she is away, and their in-laws are working.
Currently, Jaia has been sedated for almost two weeks in order for her body to rest while it is receiving all the care that it needs to heal. She has been weaned down to 45 percent oxygen on the oscillator, a machine that is helping her breathe, and along with the stimulation of her mother Sa’Bria, and her grandparents presence, her breathing is moving in the right direction. Sa’Bria says, “I believe the fact that she hears so many concerned family and friends along with her big brother, it gave her a want to see us all again.”
It’s an unforeseen uphill battle and this young family can use all the help to stabilize themselves during this very trying time. Your help by contributing whatever you can for Baby Jaia and her parents, would be greatly appreciated.
Myrna L. Datilus is the Partnerships Director for Bold. Ms. Datilus has a Masters in Public Relations along with a diverse background of music, theatre, and sales. Her focus is to utilize her personal, academic and professional background in a broader scale. The primary goal is to work with Organizations and Brands that are relative to how the world is shifting technologically.
Myrna loves to sing, dance, meet & mingle with people and have something amazing come to fruition. “I am looking forward to all the BOLD adventures that are to come!”