Cooper's Cause Foundation - Benefiting Pediatric Heart Patients

Amelia's Story

On April 9, 2009 my sister, Kathryn Braun, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Amelia Ryelle, weighing 6lbs 12oz. She was a thriving infant consuming 3 to 4 ounces at a time and gaining weight. We never thought anything was wrong with her and neither did her family practice physician. As a couple of weeks went by, friends and family commented that Mimi's skin looked gray and dusky. We still did not see it (our perfect little angel) but we thought we should get a second opinion. We live in a small town in ND and there is only 1 pediatrician in the town. Katie took Amelia to see her on May 1st, 2009. That night the pediatrician called Katie at home and they decided to send Mimi to a cardiologist in Fargo, ND, which is about 50 miles from Wahpeton. The next morning upon arriving, an EKG and other tests were done that were sent to the U of MN in Minneapolis, MN. They immediately decided to life flight her to the U of M for surgery. Upon arrival baby Mimi coded. She was then diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot with Pulmonary Atresia. She had an emergency shunt put in on May 2nd, 2009.

When she gets older and stronger in about 4 to 5 months, she will need another surgery to repair her ventricle wall hole and her aorta. It is a miracle that she lived for 3 weeks of her life on such low oxygen levels and continued to thrive! We are grateful for friends telling us that she looked "dusky" and for our home town pediatrician to send us to the cardiologist. She is a true fighter in our eyes.

I don't think my sister realizes the financial devastation that this will cause to her and her family. Katie and Derrick are in their early 20's and finishing up with college. They both have jobs and have Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance, but I am sure there will be additional medical costs that they cannot afford and would appreciate any help they could get. We have limited resources here and were checking out options on the internet when we found out about "Cooper's Cause" and we would appreciate any help that you can give my sister and her family! Thank you for listening to our story!

Shannon Wendorff