Giant Tiger to hold fundraiser for baby with rare condition 0
New parents Nick and Vanessa take their baby for a walk around the hospital.
New parents Vanessa Rail and Nick Hewitt have had an emotional 11 weeks since their son Jordan was born - and they are not in the clear yet.
Jordan was a healthy baby born on May 1. Within two days he showed signs of jaundice, so they took him to Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital.
After a week in Orillia, Jordan was able to return home to Wasaga Beach.
“He was doing great,” said Vanessa. “He wasn't incapable of feeding. It cleared up within the first week of life, then he was okay for four weeks.”
Jordan was a welcome addition to his close-knit family.
“The other grandma and I would have the pleasure of 'kidnapping' him a couple days a week,” said Nick's mom, Liana Hewitt.
But Rail soon noticed a change of colour in Jordan, and took him to the family's doctor. He was again rushed to Orillia Soldier's Memorial, and after communicating with doctors at Sick Kids Hospital, Jordan was taken to Toronto on June 8.
“They thought it was best to physically see him, and see what's going on with him,” said Rail.
After several tests, doctors found a blood clot in Jordan's brain that was causing bleeding.
“From one day to the next it just seemed there was something else,” said Hewitt.
They rushed him into surgery to prevent an aneurism.
“That had to be the longest night of all our lives,” said Hewitt.
The doctors were able to stop the bleeding, but there is still some pressure on the brain.
Jordan is seeing a genetics specialists to assess whether there is any brain damage.
The baby has another blood clot stretching from his liver to above his heart which is being treated with blood thinner.
“They've made him a study case so they can hopefully help other kids,” said Hewitt.
The whole family has been through an emotional roller-coaster.
“There's been some days where we didn't know if he was going to make it,” said Hewitt. “He's still not out of the woods, but he's better than he was.”
Jordan is starting to come off a feeding tube, with formula that costs $600 a month, and Nick wasn't able to work for the month Jordan was at Sick Kids. The financial crunch faced by the family has spurred Hewitt and Vanessa's mother Celine Blakely to open a trust fund for their children and grandson.
“We'd all feel better knowing there's a cushion there if something happened,” said Hewitt.
The grandmas decided to start the trust fund after Georgian Bowl held a fundraiser for the family in June. Hewitt asked stores around town if she could hang up a poster to promote the trust fund.
Collingwood Giant Tiger decided to do more than just hang a poster, and will be hosting a barbecue fundraiser for the family.
“We thought it was a great idea to do it, to give back to the community,” said store manager Jerry Orlowski. “We try to help out as much as possible.”
The barbecue is being held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 28 – with hopes of attracting visitors from the Elvis Festival.
The trust fund is based at the Wasaga Beach TD Canada Trust branch. Donations can be made to branch number 3807 account number 6054418.