Behind this little smile is one big story. This is Amaya. She is a little petite and extra sweet! In May she will be turning two years old, and not long around then.... she will be having major brain surgery.
When Amaya was about two months old, her parents would notice she would stop breathing and have strange movements when she would wake or fall asleep. After some time, they came to find out she was actually having seizures that would cause her to stop breathing.... every parent's worst nightmare. She was ultimately diagnosed with epilepsy. I can't imagine the fright dealing with one of my children not breathing, but for it to be a regular thing with seizures? Her parents are so strong. The only thing they can do while she isn't breathing is to rub her chest to help remind her body to breathe, and keep medicine close at hand that will also help if she continues not to breathe.
As it turns out, there is a "cure" for these seizures, but it requires a surgery.... in my book or anyone else's, major surgery. Amaya will have to have the entire right side of her brain removed to prohibit these reoccuring seizures. Until talking with this family, I did not even know such a surgery existed and it's something I think about every day.
Amaya has a big sister named Aubrey, her mommy Tia, and her daddy Matt. Tia and I have known each other since Kindergarten, and while we were never super close friends... she was always very kind in school and we would chat from time to time. About a week ago, Matt contacted me letting me know about the brain surgery and asked how to book a session with me before Amaya has to lose her beautiful head of hair. It was no big decision that we had to get them in as soon as possible before the big surgery, which should be happening within the next few months... right around the time Amaya turns two. Both of her parents are incredibly hard workers. Tia is actually a nurse at A.I. Dupont... a hospital that I absolutely adore that saved my own brother's life when he was a baby.
I have so much respect for any parent going through the illness, disability or surgery of a child. As you can imagine their medical bills are already extremely major and this surgery is going to be scary enough with their child going through all of this on top of the cost. Amaya's surgery date has yet to be decided, but they should know soon and it will be in Ohio. I have put the link for the Go Fund Me account below, and truly hope you'll consider donating to help this family out. It really would be an incredible blessing to have even half of this surgery taken care of.
Donate and receive updates here: https://www.gofundme.com/amayamccoy
In addition, our friends over at My Baby's Heartbeat Bear have generously offered to donate a beautiful heartbeat animal to this precious family. A heartbeat animal will be chosen, and within it a small recorder that will hold the sound of Amaya's heartbeat. I have a few, and they are the most treasured items I own. Please learn more about them at http://mybabysheartbeatbear.com/ and give them a like on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mybabysheartbeatbear
Thank you so much for taking the time to read, send healing thoughts and prayers their way, feel free to share, look on my website or fan page for an update (with her parents' permission) after Amaya's surgery and enjoy a few more sneak peeks from their session! Thank you!